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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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