Lockheed: No Stealth Fighters for Saudis

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - A senior Lockheed Martin official said Israel is the only country in the Middle East in negotiations to purchase the F-35 Lightning II, the newest generation of stealth Joint Strike Fighters (JSF).

"No other countries in this part of the world are in discussions," Lockheed general manager Tom Burbage told reporters Sunday.

Israeli officials are concerned that America's strategic ties with Saudi Arabia and Egypt might lead to the sale of JSFs to these countries.

But Burbage said there are no talks with Saudi Arabia at the present time.

Israeli defense officials are pressing the Pentagon to allow Israel to install its own systems in the stealth fighter.

The Pentagon has agreed to a $15 billion deal to sell Israel as many as 75 F-35s, with the first deliveries slated for 2014.

The F-35s will replace the IAF's (Israel Air Force) F-16s.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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