The Israeli air force and the IDF will soon decide whether to buy another 25-plane squadron of F-35s. Israel is hesitating between more stealth fighters and a squadron of advanced F-15s made by US manufacturer Boeing. Procurement will be paid for with US military aid.
It is believed that if Israel eventually chooses a third squadron of F-35s, the price will be less than $77.9 million per plane and there are signs that the price per plane is falling.
A huge contract signed by the US Department of Defense with arms manufacturer Lockheed Martin - the purchase of 478 F-35 stealth fighters - is pushing the price of an F-35 below $80 million for the first time. The reduction in price applies to the F-35A, the most common model of the plane.
Lockheed Martin, which developed the F-35, said that the price was the lowest so far for these fighters since the F-35 production program began. The Israeli air force also uses the F-35A model, to which it has given the Hebrew name "Adir."
Two more F-35s will be delivered to the Israeli air force in the coming weeks, which will have 21 of the model by the end of the year. 30 more will be delivered to Israel in 2021-2026 at the rate of six planes a year.
The price of the remaining planes to be delivered this year is $82.4 million per plane. The price of the six planes to be delivered to Israel in 2021 will be $79.2 million per plane, and the price will fall to $77.9 million, starting in 2022.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on October 30, 2019
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