Nov 8, 2014

Israel Ministers may look to shoot down F-35 jet deal

Israeli ministers are lining up against the purchase of a second squadron of advanced F-35 stealth fighters from the United States, saying the $3 billion needed for the deal could be put to better use, suggesing that the money for theshould instead be spent developing Israel’s drone force and buying more relatively inexpensive rockets that can be launched from the air, sea, or land.
The deal for the new squadron, was sealed last month during Israel's Defense Ministervisit to the US.
Each F-35A, to be named Adir in Israel, costs roughly $150 million. Israel already ordered an initial squadron of 19 F-35A Lightning II jets in 2010.
Among the arguments against the deal is that the multitude of enemy rockets that could target Israel’s airfields means the country shouldn’t rely too heavily on its combat aircraft.
Steinitz noted that there is no certainty that the F-35, which has been dogged by development problems, will have a true stealth profile given the expected advances in radar carried by enemy plans, a factor that will reduce its air superiority.
The second squadron of planes is expected in 2019, and the deal also reportedly includes an arrangement according to which the Israel Aircraft Industries will build 811 pairs of wings for Lockheed Martin.
Some minister said that there are “lots of areas where the money is needed,” for example to acquire replacements for the vulnerable “matchbox-like” M-113 armored personnel carriers in which some Golani troops entered Gaza this summer. A July 20 ambush left seven troops dead in one of the antiquated, malfunctioning APCs in the Gaza neighborhood of Shejaiya.
A senior officer in the IDF ground forces told Channel 2 in 2013 that with the money slated for the F-35s, the Defense Ministry could have bought 600 new tanks or hundreds of Iron Dome and Arrow interceptors, or generally used the funds to upgrade the entire ground force.

1 comment:

  1. More F-35s for Israel would be a good thing, but I think a good reserve of missiles, having a rapid reaction capability (V-22s) with longer range, and bringing on the Namer APCs in quantity, and upgrading the Merkavas to Mk IV, adding Iron Dome batteries, upgrading the M109s to the latest version including guided projectiles, upgrading small arms and increasing ammo stocks, and bringing on the Ballistic Missile Defense capability is important. The rapidly deteriorating situation in the Middle East will not permit sufficient long range planning to be prudent with an increased F-35 buy. Iron Dome is prophesied in scripture. Don't know about the F-35.