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Israeli Air Force acquires third F-35 squadron under new US agreement

The Adir F-35 aircraft. Photo: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit

The Israeli Air Force will acquire a third squadron of F-35 joint strike fighter aircraft under an agreement with the US government.

The Israeli Air Force will acquire a third squadron of F-35 joint strike fighter aircraft under an agreement with the US government.

The Israeli Ministry of Defense has announced a signed agreement with the US government for the third squadron of “Adir” F-35 fighter jet aircraft, which will be integrated into the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), according to a public statement released on 4 June.

Israeli Ministry of Defense personnel reportedly travelled to the US where a letter of offer and acceptance was officially signed to acquire the third F-35 squadron for the Israeli Air Force.


“The procurement of the third F-35 squadron reflects the strength of the strategic alliance between Israel and the United States,” Yoav Gallant from the Israeli Ministry of Defense said.

“This capability has a significant impact on arenas both near and far.

“At [a] time when some of our adversaries aim to undermine our ties with our greatest ally, we only further strengthen our alliance. This sends a powerful message to our enemies across the region. I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude to our partners in the US Department of Defense and the wider US government for reinforcing and ensuring Israel’s edge and strategic capabilities.”

The agreement was signed by Brigadier General (Ret’d) Mishel Ben Baruch, head of the mission, and the deal reportedly includes 25 F-35 aircraft manufactured by Lockheed Martin, complete with support and maintenance services.

Upon completion of the program, the Israeli Air Force will expand its fleet to 75 of the F-35 advanced stealth aircraft. The delivery of the aircraft to the IDF will commence in 2028 at a rate of three to five aircraft per year. The transaction is valued at approximately $3 billion, funded by the US Foreign Military Financing.

Procuring the aircraft is part of a comprehensive initiative that the Israeli Ministry of Defense and the IDF promoted over the past two years to strengthen its capabilities and fortify its power in response to existing and future threats, according to Ministry of Defense director general Major General (Ret’d) Eyal Zamir.

“Initiated by the Israeli Ministry of Defense and the IDF before the war and approved by the Minister of Defense, the signing of the third F-35 squadron agreement concludes a significant procurement process and was accelerated during it.

“The Adir program and other initiatives we are advancing will help ensure the continued readiness of the IDF and the Air Force for multi-threat challenges in the coming years.

“We are grateful to the US government, whose senior representatives we met last week in Washington, for supporting Israel’s security needs and maintaining its qualitative and technological edge for years to come.”

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