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Israel Inks $3 Billion Deal with US for F-35 Fighter Jets

Photo : Reuters

Israel announced on Tuesday the finalization of a significant $3 billion deal to procure a third squadron of 25 advanced F-35 stealth fighter jets from Lockheed Martin, a renowned aerospace company. Defence Minister Yoav Gallant emphasized the importance of fortifying Israel's alliance with its key ally, particularly in light of attempts by adversaries to weaken their ties. Gallant's statement, issued upon the announcement of the deal, underscores Israel's unwavering commitment to enhancing its military capabilities and safeguarding its national security interests.

"This deal sends a powerful message to our enemies across the region," Gallant stated, emphasizing the strategic significance of bolstering Israel's military capabilities amidst evolving regional dynamics.

The acquisition of these 25 F-35 fighter jets will augment Israel's existing fleet, bringing the total number of F-35s in Israel's possession to 75. This expansion is poised to significantly enhance Israel's aerial combat capabilities, providing advanced stealth capabilities, intelligence gathering capabilities, and the capacity for precision strikes deep into enemy territory. 

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The delivery of the newly procured aircraft is slated to commence in 2028, with an estimated rate of three to five aircraft per year, as per the statement issued by the defence ministry. This phased delivery approach ensures a gradual integration of the new assets into Israel's military arsenal while maintaining operational readiness.

Israel stands as the only Middle Eastern nation equipped with F-35s, marking a testament to its technological prowess and military capabilities in the region. The F-35, renowned as the world's most advanced fighter jet, boasts stealth capabilities and multi-role functionality, enabling Israel to conduct a diverse array of missions ranging from intelligence gathering to precision strikes.

The procurement of these advanced fighter jets comes amidst escalating tensions in the region, underscored by recent events such as Iran's direct drone and missile attack on Israeli territory. Israel's military remains vigilant in safeguarding its borders and deterring potential threats, leveraging its advanced capabilities to maintain stability and security in the region.

The announcement of this procurement deal underscores Israel's steadfast commitment to bolstering its defence capabilities and reinforcing its strategic partnerships, particularly with its key ally, the United States. As Israel continues to navigate complex geopolitical dynamics, investments in cutting-edge military technologies such as the F-35 serve as a cornerstone of its national security strategy.

June 5, 2024 12:14 p.m. 393

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