Israeli cabinet approves additional F-35 purchase

Israeli cabinet approves additional F-35 purchase

The Israeli cabinet approved the purchase of 17 additional Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II jets during a meeting on Sunday evening.

The decision to purchase the additional jets will increase the number of ordered F-35s to a total of 50.

Israel is due to receive a specially modified F-35A designated as the F-35I. The jet will feature unique Israeli characteristics such as electronic warfare systems, sensors and countermeasures and a main computer that will have a plug-and-play feature to allow add-on Israeli electronics to be used.

The F-35I will also feature an external jamming pod, and new Israeli air-to-air missiles and guided bombs in the internal weapon bays.

Israel is expected to receive the first two planes before the end of 2016, after which another six- seven planes will arrive in each subsequent year.