F-35A Lightning II

Operator: Israel Turkey
Status: On Order On Order
Number: 33 (with option to buy 17 more) 6 (100 planned)
Cost: $2.75 billion for first 19 aircraft (2010); $2.82 billion for second batch of 14 (2015) $16 billion (expected)
Acquired: December 12, 2016-2019 2016
General Specs
Country of origin: Primary developer and financial backer: USA
Tier 1 supporter: UK
Tier 2: Italy and the Netherlands
Tier 3: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Turkey
Role: Multirole Stealth Fighter
Manufacturer: Primary contractor: Lockheed Martin
Partners: Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems and Pratt & Whitney
Introduced: February 2006
Power plant: 1 x Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 Turbofan
Thrust: Dry: 28,000 lb (128.1 kN)
Afterburner: 43,000 lb (191.3 kN)
Wingspan: 35 ft (10.7 m)
Length: 51.4 ft (15.7 m)
Height: 14.4 ft (4.4 m)
Weight (empty): 29,300 lb (13,290.3 kg)
Maximum takeoff weight: 70,000 lb (31,751.5 kg)
Fuel Capacity (internal): 18,250 lb (8,278 kg)
Speed: Mach 1.6 (1,200 mph / 1,931.2 km/h)
Ceiling: 50,000 ft+ (15,240 m+)
Range: Ferry range: >1,380.9 miles (2,222 km)
Combat radius: >590 miles (1,093 km)
Crew: 1
Armament: 18,000 lb (8,164.67 kg)
2 x internal bays w/ 2 x hardpoints each
6 x external hardpoints
Guns: 1 x 25mm GAU-22/A 4 x barrel Gatling gun
Air-to-air: AIM-9X Sidewinder
Air-to-ground: GBU-10 Paveway II 2,000 lb bomb
GBU-12 Paveway II 500 lb bomb
GBU-16 Paveway II 1,000 lb bomb
GBU-24 Paveway III 2,000 lb bomb
GBU-31 JDAM 2,000 lb bomb
GBU-32 JDAM 1,000 lb bomb
GBU-38 JDAM 500 lb bomb
GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb (SDB)
AGM-154A/C JSOW glide bomb
CBU-99/100 Rockeye II cluster munition
CBU-103/105 Sensor Fused Weapon
Storm Shadow
Radar/Sensors: AN/APG-81 AESA Radar
Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS)
AN/AAQ-37 Distributed Aperture System (DAS)
Countermeasures/Defenses: Threat Nullification Defensive Resource (ThNDR) *planned
Flare dispensers
Chaff dispensers
Misc Systems: Helmet mounted display system



Israel Receives F-35 Maintenance Tools and Training

By the end of the month, the maintenance personnel sent to the USA for conversion training in preparation for the F-35I expected to return to Israel. Upon their arrival, they will be greeted by fully equipped HAS (Hardened Aircraft Shelters) and sheds. Simultaneously, the preparations continue: the work on aircrew simulator infrastructure and “Adir” computer […]


More F-35 Orders Remain on Horizon for Israel

The Israeli Air Force’s chief of staff has recommended the purchase of an additional 17 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, but that decision is pending authorization from the Israeli government. Wednesday marked the roll-out of the first Lockheed Martin F-35I Adir, a slightly modified F-35A which will be delivered to Israel’s Nevatim Air Base in […]


Israel Prepares Ground for F-35I Testing

The Israeli air force’s chief flight test engineer wants an early as possible delivery of its Lockheed Martin F-35 test asset, to expedite the process of adapting locally-produced weapon systems to the aircraft. Israel’s contracts for the F-35I “Adir” include a test example, which will be operated by its flight-test centre. According to the centre’s […]


Israel Confident F-35 Won’t Be Sold To Gulf Near-Term

As Qatar and Kuwait anxiously await clearance from the White House to purchase new tranches of advanced fourth-generation fighters, Israeli concerns about maintaining its military edge rest on a simple belief: that Israel will retain regional exclusivity over the fifth-generation F-35 for the foreseeable future. That the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations would not be […]


Israel Sets Date for F-35 Arrival

The first two of Israel’s Lockheed Martin F-35I “Adir” fighters are scheduled to land in the nation on 12 December, with another six to be delivered in 2017. Immediately following their arrival, the lead aircraft will have unique systems installed that have been developed to meet the Israeli air force’s operational requirements for the stealthy […]


Lockheed Awarded $182 Million to Produce and Deliver F-35s to the U.S. Military, Israel, and Japan

Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded an undefinitized contract action with a firm-fixed-price, not-to-exceed $181,765,203 modification to a previously awarded advance acquisition contract (N00019-14-C-0002).  This modification provides for the manufacture and delivery of F-35 low-rate initial production Lot 9 Alternate Mission Equipment, including armaments, pilot flight equipment, and […]


Israel Holds Firm on Increasing F-35 Purchase

Israel’s desire to acquire additional examples of the Lockheed Martin F-35 is likely to be advanced even if Washington does not agree to increase the level of Foreign Military Financing (FMF) made available to the nation. The Israeli government has asked its US counterpart for a 10-year FMF package that will include an annual grant […]


Israel Defense Minister: F-35 Will Preserve Qualitative Edge

Defense Minister Moshe “Bogey” Ya’alon told visiting Lockheed Martin executives and test pilots Tuesday that Israel’s planned F-35I force would allow it to preserve the nation’s qualitative military edge (QME) against regional adversaries. Following a briefing at Air Force House in Herzliya, Israel, by Jack Crisler, F-35 vice president for business development and strategic integration, […]


Israel’s Military Wish List

Since Congress first mandated military aid to Israel in 1971, the United States has provided the country nearly $100 billion in assistance. In 2008, Washington’s commitment to ensure Israel’s qualitative military edge (QME) over its regional adversaries was formally written into U.S. law. That close military cooperation is set to intensify following last week’s visit […]


Is Israel About to Lose Its Edge in the Air?

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Israel’s V-22 Cancellation

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon cancelled a planned purchase of the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, Israel Hayom reported yesterday. The news comes amidst a diplomatic row between the White House and Jerusalem over derisive comments by Obama Administration officials about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. As much as the Osprey cancellation appears to be fallout […]


An Edge in the Desert

Weapons are pouring into the Middle East at an unprecedented rate. The Pentagon recently announced that it would sell six tilt-rotor Osprey aircraft to Israel for $1.3 billion, American hardware (including Apache helicopters) is being rushed to the Iraqi government to help in its battle against al Qaeda, and Washington has also restored military aid to Egypt after a brief hiatus. But Uncle […]

S. 2165, the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012

S. 2165, the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012, was the pronouncement of a deep understanding between the two countries mutual security and stability concerns. Israel is the United States’ most significant security partner and America’s most valuable ally in the Middle East. Israel’s military strength and central geo-strategic location provide a strong deterrent against Iran, Syria and other radical forces opposed to the United States. As such, the legislation reaffirms the enduring commitment of the United States to Israel’s inherent right to self-defense by encouraging further cooperation between the two countries on matters of homeland security, missile defense, intelligence, and cyber-security.

On political and diplomatic issues, this law confirms America’s unwavering commitment to Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. As Section 3 of the law clarifies, it is the policy of the United States to veto any one-sided anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations Security Council while encouraging Israel’s neighbors to recognize Israel’s inherent right to exist as a Jewish States. The United States government will also encourage further development of advanced technology programs between the two countries, and concurrently assist Israel in advancing a peaceful negotiated settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In support of this policy, the legislation further clarified U.S. policy and called for the U.S. government to take several considerable actions to bolster Israel’s qualitative military advantage:

  • Provide Israel support as necessary to increase development and production of joint missile defense systems
  • Provide assistance specifically for the production and procurement of the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system
  • Provide Israel with improved defense services, including air refueling tankers, missile defense capabilities and specialized munitions
  • Allocate additional weaponry and munitions for the forward-deployed United States stockpile in Israel
  • Provide additional surplus defense articles in relation to the United States’ withdrawal from Iraq
  • Offer additional training and exercise opportunities for the Israeli Air Force
  • Expand Israel’s authority to make purchases under the Foreign Military Financing program.
  • Encourage an expanded role for Israel in NATO, politically and militarily
  • Expand intelligence sharing and cooperation between the two countries
  • Assess how to improve the cost-efficiency and purchasing process for Israel’s procurement of F-35 aircraft.


S. 2165, the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012, was signed into law on July 27, 2012