The F-35 deal is on the takeoff runway: today, Minister of Defense Ehud Barak gave approval in principle for moving ahead with the deal to buy the combat aircraft of the future, Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning II. This followed several discussions in recent weeks in which the director general of the Ministry of Defense, together with IDF staff, reported on the results achieved in negotiations with the JSF (Joint Strike Fighter) program management team in the US Army.
The minister's approval comes after a long series of discussions and a great deal of staff work in the IDF, at the end of which it was decided to purchase 20 aircraft in all for $96 million each. The total price of the deal is estimated at $2.75 billion. It will include spare parts, maintenance, and simulators.
The IDF says that under the agreements reached, delivery of the aircraft will begin in 2015, and will be spread over two years.
The deal is still subject to approval by the diplomatic-security cabinet.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 15, 2010
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