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  (Source: Lockheed Martin)
The Israeli government will receive a first order of 20 JSF by the end of 2015, with

Israel is still considering whether or not it wants to purchase the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II (also known as the Joint Strike Fighter) aircraft, as Defense Minister Ehud Barak and other Israeli government officials discuss the expensive investment.

Previous approval granted Israel the right to purchase 75 JSFs, but Israel initially only wants just 20 aircraft.  The country expects to pay more than $140 million for each F-35, and it's unknown if Israel will be able to install all of its own equipment into the aircraft.

Previously, the U.S. government said it would remove some of its own hardware and offer an alternative or allow the purchasing nation to make slight alternations.  Continued negotiations take place, but it's likely Israel will fulfill the rest of its order after the first 20 aircraft are accepted.

"We work according to the assumption that other countries will receive the jet, and that is why we need to be the first,” an IDF officer recently disclosed.  "The JSF not only provides unbelievable capabilities, but will also assist Israel in boosting its deterrence.”

After agreed upon configurations, Israel will begin to receive its new aircraft by the end of 2015, with future orders expected to arrive shortly after.  Although there are some early contract problems, Israel and the United States are expected to come to a fair agreement as quickly as possible.

Lockheed Martin has been given approval to sell the aircraft to select countries, but cannot offer certain electronics and hardware aboard the aircraft.

The Australian military is interested in purchasing up to 100 JSF, but want to see additional testing information before purchasing the costly aircraft.  If an agreement with Lockheed cannot be finalized, it's possible Australia will work with Russia.  Canada is expected to purchase up to 65 JSF -- negotiations are ongoing with other countries as well.

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For consideration
By Chillin1248 on 8/13/2010 9:51:06 AM , Rating: 2
Just a point of note, the IDF will only accept the F-35 if the source code is delivered with the aircraft.

The reason is two-fold:

1) - Integration - All Israeli warplanes are outfitted with native electronic suites and weapons. The source code is a must to fully integrate these.

2) - Back doors - The code must be checked to make sure there are no back doors that can be accessed that might disable or inhibit the F-35.

Without these conditions being met and the exorbitant price, I cannot see the IDF purchasing the F-35.

And to be fair, most other potential purchasers of the F-35 have also requested the source code for the same reasons.


RE: For consideration
By inperfectdarkness on 8/13/2010 11:51:29 AM , Rating: 2
i'm not saying you're wrong, but if said code was provided--how do we known we won't end up with another lavi/j-10 debacle & a new chinese f-35 clone within 10 years?

RE: For consideration
By Chillin1248 on 8/13/2010 12:02:29 PM , Rating: 2
To be fair you can say the same thing about Israel giving Arrow 3's to the U.S., as well as the following for example:


-ADM-141 TALD (Improved Tactical Air Launched Decoy)- device used to protect U.S. warplanes from enemy fire.

-AGM-142 Have Nap "The Popeye" - a precise bomb which hits specific coordinates

-Several Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

-Python missile - A major air to air missile..

-Cardom - A 120mm Recoil mortar system using modern electronic navigation, self-positioning, and target acquisition.

-Gabriel missile - A sea skimming Anti-ship missile.

-LITENING targeting pod - A precision targeting pod designed to increase combat effectiveness of aircraft.

-Samson Remote Controlled Weapon Station - A Remote weapon system.

All these have been shared with the U.S.. However the U.S. also supplies Israeli opponents Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Jordan with advanced weapon systems, some of them ironically using Israeli designs.


RE: For consideration
By inperfectdarkness on 8/13/2010 8:11:46 PM , Rating: 2
blue air/gray air systems don't count. sharing technology happens all the time between allies. leaking it to threat countries resulting in clones and new hostile systems is crossing the line.

the lavi/j-10 was blue air tech which resulted in a red air threat.

the next closest thing to that would probably be the cf-105 being leaked to the soviets.

if you're going to do a comparison--at least make it apples to apples.

RE: For consideration
By Chillin1248 on 8/13/2010 8:50:31 PM , Rating: 3
The J-10 was already proven not to be developed from the Lavi, but from the canceled J-9 project.

"Our nation's new fighter's external design and aerodynamics configuration are completely made by us and did not receive foreign assistance, this made me very proud. Our nation developed J-9 in the 1960s, this adopted the canard configuration. So, those statements that said J-10 is a copy of Israeli Lavi are just laughable." - General designer of J-10, Mr. Song Wencong

I personally find these type of accusations ridiculous, considering that whatever technology Israel might give to China would find its way into the hands of Israel's opponents; Iran being a foremost example. The C-802 missile that hit an Israeli frigate in 2006 was delivered to Iran from China.

So unless anyone can present definitive proof, this are just nothing more than hearsay.


RE: For consideration
By FITCamaro on 8/13/2010 12:13:07 PM , Rating: 2
Well honestly there's not much more danger from that happening if a country like Israel has the code than if they don't. An employee at Lockheed or one of the various subcontractors working on the jet is just as likely to give the code to someone who shouldn't have it as those in Israel who might have access to it.

Honestly I don't see how they could go through all the code that is going to be on the jet in order to be certain there are no such back doors.

But most countries who will be getting the F35 are just getting the jet. They aren't getting all the critical electronics that the US will have. So while I guess there could be back doors to say, shut off the fuel system, Israel and other countries being worried that we're going to be able to disarm their weapons is unfounded.

RE: For consideration
By SPOOFE on 8/13/2010 7:54:30 PM , Rating: 2
Honestly I don't see how they could go through all the code that is going to be on the jet in order to be certain there are no such back doors.

Maybe add some backdoors of their own, in the event that the tech is stolen from them specifically?

RE: For consideration
By Chillin1248 on 8/16/2010 2:50:13 AM , Rating: 2
Also another note of interest.

The flyaway cost of each F-35A purchased here is $96 million. The expenses including the preparation of the new squadron, initial infrastructure, logistical and support package is expected eventually to exceed $150 million per plane.

How Much it Really Costs?

In July this year Canada has ordered 65 F-35As fora total amount of C$9 billion, reflecting a flyaway cost of $138 million. According to Lockheed Martin, the Canadian F-35A is configured as the least costly version of the aircraft offered at a cost of US$60 million per aircraft. The remaining amount reflect training, logistics and support costs. Israel is expected to opt for one of the more expensive versions of the stealth fighter, therefore it was priced slightly above the average cost of the F-35A (US$92.5 million). The manufacturer Lockheed Martin is offering the new fighter with turnkey life cycle support program. Although the cost and specific details of these support packages has not been announced yet, given the high readiness level required by the IAF, U.S. analysts have determined the estimated life cycle cost of the aircraft could reach up to $380 million.


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