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Israeli Air Force to expand fleet to 75 aircraft, will acquire additional F-35 squadron jets

F-35s – considered one of the most advanced fighter jets in the world – are expected to play a prominent role in any potential Israeli military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities

F-35 stealth jets (Photo: Israeli Air Force)

The Israeli government greenlighted the acquisition of a third squadron of Lockheed Martin's American F-35 stealth fighter jets on Sunday. The additional 25 fifth-generation jets will expand the Jewish state’s F-35 fleet to 75 aircraft.

The approximately $3 billion deal will reportedly be financed by military aid from the United States.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant approved the purchase of the additional squadron after receiving recommendations from IDF Chief Lt.-Gen. Herzi Halevi and Israel Air Force Commander Maj.-Gen. Tomer Bar.

CEO of Lockheed Martin-Israel, Joshua Shani, welcomed Israel’s decision and said the company is “honored the Israeli government has announced its intent to purchase additional F-35s.”

“The Israeli Air Force has proven its capabilities in critical operations with the 116th and 140th squadrons, and we are looking forward to building on this strong performance,” stated Shani.

“With a combination of stealth, sensor fusion and electronic warfare, the fifth-generation F-35 will ensure the Israeli Air Force stays ahead of current and evolving threats to protect its borders and citizens for decades to come,” he added.

Invisible to radar systems, the F-35 jets are considered to be one of the most advanced fighter jets in the world and are expected to play a prominent role in a potential Israeli military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities.

Israel is one of the comparatively few nations with an operational fleet of F-35 jets. In addition, Israel is one of the very few countries permitted to modify the advanced aircraft with its own military equipment.

In 2022, the Saudi-owned London-based Elaph media outlet reported that Israeli F-35 jets penetrated Iranian airspace on several occasions and succeeded in eluding Iranian and Russian radar systems.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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