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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Pentagon approves sale of stealth bomber to Israel

The Pentagon has approved the sale to Israel of 25 F-35 stealth-enabled joint strike fighters to the Israeli Air Force. The deal is valued at $15.2 billion and is subject to congressional approval.
The deal, valued at $15.2 billion, includes an option to buy 50 additional bombers in the coming years. Each plane is estimated to cost between $70 million and $80m. and will be equipped with F-135 or F-136 engines by the IAF.

A Pentagon official said Wednesday that the sale of the stealth jets to Israel was essential to American national interests and was meant to ensure that Israel maintained its qualitative edge over armies of neighboring countries.

A department in the Pentagon responsible for cooperation with foreign powers reportedly relayed a message to Congress announcing the approval of the deal, where it is expected to be confirmed within 30 days, before the November 4 US Presidential elections.

Thomas J. Jurkowsky, spokesman for the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, which manufactures the fighter jets, reportedly said that the deal would be the first international sale of the F-35 and was a significant first step in expanding the group of countries using the fighter jet outside the US.

Israel's interest in the short takeoff and vertical landing aircraft was first reported in The Jerusalem Post in December 2007. The decision to consider the F-35B was made due to an understanding that in a time of war, Israeli bases and runways would be heavily targeted by enemy missiles.
Read the whole thing.

Here's a video of an F-35B taking off. This is really neat. Let's go to the videotape.

And here's another one of an F-35 hovering (I'm not sure whether this one is the F-35B).


At 12:51 AM, Blogger amy said...

Carl, this is great news, but I don't understand how they get to $15.2 billion when they're talking about a total of 75 planes at $70-80 million apiece. The numbers don't add up. By my calculation, even at $80 million each, that only adds up to $6 billion.

At 8:49 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


Maintenance costs.

At 9:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If approved by Congress in the next 30 days, Israel will likely sign an official contract with the US Air Force in the coming months and begin receiving the aircraft in 2014."

No hurry. Plenty of time!

At 4:07 PM, Blogger Ayatollah Ghilmeini said...


Shana Tova!

The VTOL (vertical take off and landing) version of the F-35 is the B.

I only wish the US would sell Israel the F-117s that are being mothballed and unbeatable F-22.

In the Middle east, air power is king.


At 1:29 AM, Blogger M Brueschke said...

Japan and Israel have both asked about the F-22, the USAF wants to sell them to bring the price down so they can buy more, DoD and Congress are blocking the raptor sales.

As for the F-117, its old tech and they've reached their lifespan metal fatigue-wise. If the US sold them to Israel, it would take 2-3 years for an IAF squadron to be worked up.


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