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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Good news: Israel and US resolve differences over F-35

There's good news this morning. Israel and the United States have resolved their differences over the purchase by Israel of the US-made F-35 stealth fighter jet. The differences related to the inclusion of Israeli technology in the jet's computer systems.
The apparent breakthrough was made following a series of visits to Washington recently by OC Air Force Maj.-Gen. Ido Nehushtan and IAF Equipment and Procurement head Brig.-Gen. Kobi Bortman. Last week, Defense Minister Ehud Barak met with top officials from Lockheed Martin - the F-35 manufacturer - on the sidelines of the Paris Air Show.

Also known as the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), the F-35 will be one of the most advanced fighter jets in the world and will enable Israel to phase out some of its older F-15 and F-16 models.

According to senior IDF officers, the Defense Ministry and Pentagon have reached understandings on most of the major issues at the core of disagreement between the parties.

"There is understanding today on the main basic issues," explained one top officer.

As first reported in The Jerusalem Post, the IAF demands focused on three issues - the integration of Israeli electronic warfare systems into the plane, the integration of Israeli communication systems, and the ability to independently maintain the plane in the event of a technical or structural problem.

According to top officials involved in the deal, the Americans have given their consent and will grant Israel independent maintenance capabilities.
They haven't agreed on a price yet.

This is very long-term: They don't expect to sign a contract until 2010, and the first plane will not be delivered until 2014.


At 9:37 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Coincidentally, that's when Israeli intelligence projects Iran to get the bomb.


At 1:11 AM, Blogger Mr. Gerson said...

I don't think one can expect this to follow through, it is a carrot used to pressure Israel.


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