May 29, 2014 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Israel has received a green light from the U.S. for its planned fleet of F-35A Lightning II fighter jets. The Defense Department awarded a $101.9 million contract to Lockheed Martin for JSF logistics for Israel.
Under the contract, Lockheed Martin will provide engineering and maintenance support for mission systems software and autonomic logistics development of the F-35A CTOL
for the government of Israel
. Lockheed Martin will also provide autonomic logistics hardware to support Israeli pilot training. Work under this contract will be performed in Fort Worth, TX and is scheduled to be completed by Apr 2015.
The first of 80 of the JSF
aircraft will be delivered to Israel by 2017. With these aircraft, the IAF will have full control of the skies over the Middle East.
Israel, the first foreign country to order the F-35, has sought to install electronic warfare and other systems in JSF. Officials said the administration of President Barack Obama, after years of refusal, has agreed to some of Israelâ€™s requests.
â€œForeign military sales funds in the amount of $37,900,000 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the
current fiscal year,â€ the Pentagon said.
Recently, Lockheed Martin received another sizable contract of $12.4 billion from the government of Australia. Per the contract, the company will supply 58 F-35s with first delivery by 2018.