Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak approved an order for 20 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in a deal valued at around $2.75 billion,
The Israeli Air Force expects to take delivery of the first aircraft in 2015.
The article quotes Barak saying the F-35 costs $96 million a copy.
The entire deal will be funded by American military aid.
The F-35 deal had dragged for more than two years as the IAF wanted access to the plane’s hardware and software
they also wanted to install Israeli electronic warfare and configure it to carry Israeli-made missiles.
The JSF program folks said no,
that the deal was a “closed package.”
Although, if the Israelis place a larger order down the road,
the JSF program said more Israeli-sourced components could be installed.
To sweeten terms of the deal,
agreed to buy more component parts for the JSF from Israeli firms
at a price of around $4 billion.
So, the IAF gets a squadron of F-35s,
Israeli industry gets more orders for JSF components,
and its all paid for by American taxpayers
certainly a win-win for the Israelis.
– Greg Grant