Israel Considers Doubling F-35 Buy

The Israeli air force is considering a multi-year procurement plan to acquire another 20 F-35 strike fighters, a move that would potentially allow the Mideast nation to have 40 F-35s on hand by decade’s end, reports the Jerusalem Post. Israel signed an agreement with the United States last fall to procure a first order of 20 F-35s through a foreign military sale with an estimated value of $2.75 billion. Israel is expected to receive its first F-35s from that order from manufacturer Lockheed Martin in late 2016 or early 2017. Depending on the timing of a second order, the Israelis might be able to have two operational squadrons of 20 airplanes each in place by 2020, according to the Post. The Congress has approved the sale of up to 75 F-35s to Israel. (See also Used USAF F-15s for Israel)