Following the Israeli Government decision to select the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II as the Israel Air Force’s next-generation fighter aircraft, Israeli Ministry of Defense Director General (Maj. Gen. Ret.) Udi Shani signed the Letter of Offer and Acceptance for the procurement of the F-35 aircraft earlier today in New York. Israel will be the first country to receive the F-35 through the United States government’s Foreign Military Sales process.
“We’re very pleased with the Government of Israel’s decision to move forward with the U.S. government’s Letter of Offer and Acceptance for the F-35,” said Tom Burbage, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and general manager of F-35 Program Integration. “This is another step in the longstanding relationship between Lockheed Martin and the nation of Israel. The Lightning II will strengthen Israel’s national security posture both militarily and industrially.”
Israel guarantees of more than US$4B of aerospace work in exchange for their purchase of 20 F-35s valued at US$2.7B, without any other industrial investment in the program has caused aerospace analysts to question what benefits countries who have invested in the F-35 program will receive. Norway, Denmark and Italy have all expressed concerns that the industrial benefits from the program may be insufficient to justify participation.
The Israelis have said that the F-35 would neutralize the threat of S-300 missiles that Russia is under contract to deliver to Iran. Also Netanyahu said the threat of Syrian P-800 Oniks helped drive his decision to purchase the F-35.
The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations, advanced sustainable, and lower operational and support costs.
Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. Two separate, interchangeable F-35 engines are under development: the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team F136.
Lockheed Martin is a public global security company headquartered in Bethesda, MD which is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainability of advanced technology systems, products and services. Based in the U. S. it has varied worldwide interests on areas such as aerospace, defense, security, and advanced technology. More on Lockheed Martin.