F-35 Joint Strike Fighter


F-35 Joint Strike fighter






Image Gallery


F-35A in flight refuel

The Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA is far superior to the F35

The Su-35S, the primary adversary to the F-35

F-35B Cutaway
F-35B Cutaway


Quantities (planned)
USAF 1,763
RAF/RN 138
Italy 131
Netherlands 85
Turkey 100
Australia 100
Norway 56
Denmark 48
Canada 80

Initial Operational Capability (IOC)
2012 for USMC
2013 for USAF
2014 for US Navy


Israel approves purchase of 20 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters

The Israeli government has tentatively approved the purchase of 20 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.

The aircraft are expected to be delivered between 2015 to 2017. Israeli concern of Iran potentially developing a nuclear weapon suggests that the F-35s would not be used for any preventive action, but rather to bolster the country's deterrence.

The stealth fighter, made by Lockheed Martin Corp, "will afford Israel continued air superiority and maintain the technological edge in our region," the statement quoted Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak as saying. Israel plans to buy initially 20 planes, estimating the total price tag at $2.75 billion, to be covered by an annual U.S. defense grant of $3 billion. Final approval of the deal could be given by the end of September by a panel of Israeli government ministers.

Israel would be the first foreign country to sign an agreement to buy the F-35, or Joint Strike Fighter, outside the eight international partners that have helped to develop the plane.
The deal has been in negotiations since September 2008, when the Pentagon first approved the sale of 25 fighters with an option for more in the coming years.

The F-35 is designed to avoid detection by radar and could play a role in any Israeli effort to knock out what it regards as the threat to its existence posed by Iran's nuclear program. Tehran denies Western and Israeli allegations that it is trying to produce atomic weapons.
Defense Ministry Director-General Udi Shani said incorporation of Israeli technologies into the F-35 had played a role in Barak's decision to buy the aircraft. However, the F-35 does not provide an immediate answer to this threats: The first squadron will only be in operation in 2017, so if Israel decides in the next few years that the Iranian nuclear program needs to be addressed immediately, it will have to do so without the F-35. It will have to find a way to bypass Iran's air defense without the stealth jet. Lets not even mention if the Iranians get S-300 units which will neuter the F35 anyway. The threat  to supply these is like a gift that keeps on giving when it comes to the Russians.

Israel, widely assumed to have the Middle East's sole nuclear arsenal had also considered a cheaper option -- the purchase of a modified version of Boeing's F-15 fighter, an aircraft it already deploys.


The Su-30MK, another improvment on the Sukhoi thoroughbred


F-35A Landing

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F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Click for larger image

The PAK-FA T-50



F-35A's in formation

The Su-34, another deadly adversary

F-35 JSF variants
F-35 JSF variants




©2003 Kerry Plowright