Two F35s are expected to land in Israel next week. New information has been revealed regarding the F35’s weapons and the cost of the aircraft.
The stealth fighter on its way to Israel Photo Credit: Channel 2 News
Next week, the first two F35 fighter jets will land in Israel making history as the Israeli Air Force (IAF) enters into a new dramatic era. This new era will change the way in which the IAF operates throughout the Middle East.
Integrating the fighter jets will be slow with only six stealth fighters arriving to Israel per year as a result of budget limits. Therefore, two full squadrons containing 50 stealth fighters will be completed only by 2024. The entire deal costs $7.5 billion: The fighter jets cost $5 billion while the rest will be allocated towards building specialized infrastructure for the advanced aircraft, a unique simulator for pilot exercises, spare parts and maintenance costs.
The first aircraft to arrive will contain the American configurations without Israeli systems inside. The F35 will only become “Israeli” in another four years with the Israeli systems installed inside.
The Israeli stealth fighter will also receive unique weapons that the IAF has not received from the US to this day, such AIM-9X air-to-air missiles. The IAF will also receive “light hail” bombs that have oriented configuration allowing for them to be loaded on the fighter jet’s underside. Furthermore, the fighter jet will also include a very advanced radar with a range of dozens of miles capable of locating an enemy plane far before it identifies the F35.