Team goes to US to tailor F-35s for IAF

Officers to work together with Pentagon, Lockheed Martin on issues involving integration of Israeli technology into F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.

June 30, 2011 04:33
1 minute read.
The F-35

F 35 fighter jet 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The Israel Air Force has sent two servicemen to the United States to serve as the lead technical team in the development of the Israeli version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Military sources said the two officers would work together with the Pentagon and F-35 manufacturer Lockheed Martin on issues involving the integration of Israeli technology into the fifth-generation stealth fighter jet.

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Last year, Israel signed a $2.75 billion deal to buy 20 fifth-generation stealth Joint Strike Fighters. Under the original deal, Israel was to begin receiving the planes in 2015; but due to development delays, delivery will likely now begin in 2016 or 2017.

As a result, the IAF is hoping to obtain Pentagon approval for IAF pilots to begin training in the US as early as 2016, around the time American pilots will begin training on the advanced fighter jet.

The F-35’s uniqueness stems not only from its stealth capabilities but also due to its integrated sensor suite, which provides pilots with unprecedented situational awareness and enables the sharing of information between the various aircraft.

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