Israel orders 17 more F-35As
The Israeli Ministry of Defence says it has placed a follow-on order for 17 F-35A fighters, bringing the total fleet of F-35A “Adirs” ordered by Israel to 50 aircraft.
Israel’s Ministry of Defence announced on 27th August that it had placed a follow-on order for 17 F-35A fighters. The order had been expected since the security cabinet approved the purchase in November 2016.
These additional aircraft bring the total fleet of F-35A “Adirs” ordered by Israel to 50 aircraft. According to the Israeli MoD, this represents two squadrons.
Israel was the first foreign partner to receive the aircraft. It currently has five F-35As and is scheduled to receive a total of 33 aircraft by 2021.
The latest batch of 17 aircraft is due to be delivered by 2024. The unit price of these aircraft is less than $100m, according to local media, compared with significantly higher prices for the first 33 aircraft.
The aircraft already delivered are currently in testing prior to entering service, including recent in-flight refuelling trials with Boeing 707 Re’em tankers.