ISRAEL REDUCES F-35 BUY
The Israeli government has decided to decrease the planned procurement of the F-35A fighter jet from 50 to 33 aircraft in the coming years.
After a heated discussion in which the air force’s requirements for two full squadrons were rejected. On November 30th the Israeli government voted to buy 14 F-35s including the JSFs which were already under order. The ministry of defense claims that this is a split decision for the procurement of an additional 31 F-35s. Sooner or later there will be 50 JSFs procured.
The Israeli procurement of the F-35A is funded by U.S. military aid. The U.S. has agreed to grant Israel credit to fund the procurement, and it had also committed to offsetting procurement of $5.3 billion. Israeli defense sources state that the U.S. has agreed to maintain the same conditions for the smaller purchase. This contract will cover two additional simulators and spare parts for this fleet.
“It is a political decision that has nothing to do with defense requirements,” a senior defense source told Aviation Week. “Israel will acquire a total of 50 JSFs, and it will be done in three batches.”
Because U.S. officials had an inkling that Israel’s F-35A near-term buy could shrink, the orders were not factored into an ambitious promise to lower the per-unit price of the A variant — the most sought-after for international customers — to less than $85 million, including engines, in the fiscal year 2019.
This decrease in F-35s orders only makes sense to do to save funds. If the Israeli government spends too many funds on Air defense what will happen to everything else?