Pentagon Reps in Israel for F-35 Talks

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - A team from the Pentagon's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program (JFS) met with Israeli Air Force (IAF) officials in Israel this week.

The latest talks were meant to finalize details -- including configuring the aircraft for Israel's particular needs -- in preparation to purchase a fleet of F-35 jet fighters in 2009, which would tentatively set their arrival for 2014.

In May, Israel's Defense Ministry submitted a request to purchase 25 of the stealth fighters, manufactured by Lockheed Martin, with an option to purchase 50 more.

According to a statement issued by the IDF earlier this month, Israel plans to purchase up to 100 F-35s over the next decade.

Israel and Pentagon officials have met numbers of times to discuss installing Israel-made systems on the aircraft.

Israel would like to purchase several F-35s capable of vertical takeoffs and landings in the event that the country's airfields were hit by enemy missiles in a future war.

In 2003, Israel paid $20 million to be given access to information on the aircraft's development, which gave Israel the status of Security Cooperation Participant in the Joint Strike Fighter program.

Eight countries, including Great Britain, Turkey and Australia, are members of the program.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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