Israel approves purchase of 25 F-35 stealth fighter jets

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Israel has approved the purchase of 25 new F-35 stealth fighter jets from the United States, the Defense Ministry said in a statement on Sunday, reported Xinhua.

The ministry stated that the deal is valued at about 3 billion U.S. dollars, which will be financed through the U.S. defense aid package received by Israel.

As part of the original agreement between the United States and Israel, the aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin and the engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney have agreed to involve Israel's defense industries in the production of aircraft components.

The acquisition will bring the number of F-35s operated by the Israeli Air Force to 75.

The procurement was approved by Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant following the recommendation of military Chief Herzi Halevi, Director General of the Defense Ministry Eyal Zamir, and Commander of the Israeli Air Force Tomer Bar.

Israel was the first country outside the United States to acquire the F-35 aircraft. The Israeli Air Force operates a customized version of the plane called "Adir," which is translated into "Mighty" in Hebrew.

The first nine F-35s in Israel became operational in December 2017, and in May 2018, the first plane was deployed for combat.


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