F-35 Lightning II News

Israel inks LOA to join Joint Strike Fighter program

July 31, 2003 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Israel signed a letter of agreement, worth almost $20 million, to formally join the system development and demonstration (SDD) effort for Lockheed Martin's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program as a "security cooperation participant" (SCP).

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SCP status places Israel in a status lower than the eight full partner countries in JSF. Australia in November joined as the eighth and final country to join as a full partner in JSF after Britain, Canada, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and Turkey.

Singapore has also signed a letter of intent last February to become an SCP in JSF. Singapore's LoA is expected to be signed in the near future.

Full partners that participate in the JSF SDD effort gain access to JSF technical data for use on its own current and future programs, personnel in the program office, participation on the JSF executive committee, royalties on future JSF sales to third parties and a waiver on foreign military sales and research and development costs should it decide to buy the aircraft. Additionally, full partners have priority access terms to JSF production runs.

As an SCP, Israel will be able explore configurations of JSF to meet its unique operational needs and form its own program office. Unlike the other full partners, Israel will not be able to impact JSF requirements or have a presence in the JSF program office.