Israel may soon order 10 to 15 U.S.-made F-35 fighter jets, around half the number previously mentioned by defense sources in both countries, an Israeli cabinet minister said on Monday.
A reduced Israeli purchase could dent international confidence in the plane, which is being developed and built by Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) for the U.S. military and allies – a $399 billion endeavor that is the world’s most expensive weapons program.
Israel bought 19 F-35s for $2.75 billion in 2010, with delivery scheduled between 2016 and 2018. Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, visiting the United States last month, agreed to a preliminary deal for 25 to 31 more planes subject to approval by an Israeli ministerial committee, sources said. […]