Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant has approved the recommendation proposed by the IDF Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, the Director General of the Israel Ministry of Defense, Maj. Gen. (Res.) Eyal Zamir, and Commander of the Israeli Air Force, Maj. Gen. Tomer Bar, to procure a third F-35 squadron for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
The Ministry of Defense will purchase a total of 25 F-35 aircrafts from the American government, which will be manufactured by Lockheed Martin. This acquisition will expand the world’s most advanced stealth aircraft fleet operated by the Israeli Air Force to 75 aircrafts.
Following the Minister of Defense’s approval, the IMOD Mission to the USA will issue an official letter of request (LOR) to the F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office (JPO). This step will facilitate the approval and signing of the transaction in the coming months.
The value of the deal is approximately $3 billion, financed by American aid funds. As part of the original agreement between the governments, the aircraft’s manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, and the engine manufacturer, Pratt & Whitney, have committed to involving Israeli defense industries in the production of aircraft components sold.
This new agreement will ensure the continuation of cooperation between American companies and Israeli defense industries in the production of aircraft parts.