Israel approves acquisition of more F-35 fighter jets
Once the deal is completed, Israel will boast an F-35 squadron with 50 of the stealth jets.
The Israeli Cabinet also decided last Sunday that one of the jets acquired as part of the latest deal will be used as a test aircraft, on which the Israeli Air Force (IAF) can install and test new operating and weapon systems.
Israeli ministers are believed to already be considering a third purchase, this time for a further 25 F-35 jets. This acquisition may also include the F-35B STOVL, an advanced Stealth Take-Off and Vertical Landing variant of the aircraft originally ordered for the US Marines.
A senior IAF officer said that the F-35B STOVL “has many advantages, but some of its unique capabilities come at the expense of other jet capabilities.” The IAF, he said, may opt to pass on the third potential acquisition in favour of procuring additional Boeing-manufactured F-15 fighter jets. The F15s are the ubiquitous fighter jets that are regularly seen flying over Israeli skies.
“The F-15s are tried and true and this might be our last chance to purchase more of them. The F-35 will only prove itself in the future,” the officer said. (JNS.org)