IAF Sign Agreement for Third Squadron of F-35 Aircraft

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IAF Sign Agreement for Third Squadron of F-35 Aircraft

Israeli Ministry of Defense Spokesperson's Statement Below: 

The Israeli Ministry of Defense has signed an agreement with the U.S. government for the third squadron of the "Adir" (F-35) aircraft, which will be integrated into the Israel Defense Forces (IDF)
Photo by IDF Spokesperson's Unit

The Israeli Ministry of Defense's mission to the U.S. has officially signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) to acquire the third F-35 squadron for the Israeli Air Force.

The agreement was signed by Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Mishel Ben Baruch, head of the mission. It includes 25 F-35 aircrafts manufactured by Lockheed Martin, complete with support and maintenance services. With the completion of this program, the Israeli Air Force will expand its fleet to 75 of these advanced stealth aircrafts. The delivery of the aircrafts to the IDF will commence in 2028 at a rate of 3 to 5 aircrafts per year.

The transaction is valued at approximately $3 billion, funded by U.S. Foreign Military Financing (FMF). Under the original agreement between the governments, the aircraft manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, and the engine manufacturer, Pratt & Whitney, committed to involving Israeli industry in producing F-35 aircrafts sold to U.S. forces and other countries. Procuring these platforms is part of a comprehensive initiative that the Israeli Ministry of Defense and the IDF promoted over the past two years to strengthen its capabilities and fortify its power in response to existing and future threats.

Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant: “The procurement of the third F-35 squadron reflects the strength of the strategic alliance between Israel and the United States. This capability has a significant impact on arenas both near and far. At time when some of our adversaries aim to undermine our ties with our greatest ally, we only further strengthen our alliance. This sends a powerful message to our enemies across the region. I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude to our partners in the U.S. Department of Defense and the wider U.S. government for reinforcing and ensuring Israel’s edge and strategic capabilities.”

Director General of the Ministry of Defense, Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Eyal Zamir: "Initiated by the Israeli Ministry of Defense and the IDF before the war and approved by the Minister of Defense, the signing of the third F-35 squadron agreement concludes a significant procurement process and was accelerated during it. The Adir program and other initiatives we are advancing will help ensure the continued readiness of the IDF and the Air Force for multi-threat challenges in the coming years. We are grateful to the U.S. government, whose senior representatives we met last week in Washington, for supporting Israel's security needs and maintaining its qualitative and technological edge for years to come."