F-35A Lightning II

Operator: Israel Turkey
Status: Delivered / On Order On Order
Number: 5 / 45 1st batch: 6; 2nd batch: 24 (100 planned)
Cost: $2.75 billion for first 19 aircraft (2010); $2.82 billion for second batch of 14 (2015); $2.5 billion for 3rd batch of 17 (2016) $16 billion (expected)
Acquired: December 12, 2016-2019 1st batch: 2018; 2nd batch: 2021-2022
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


Lockheed Martin Awarded $11 Million to Procure Components for Israeli F-35 Production

Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $10,800,000 modification to a previously awarded advanced acquisition contract (N00019-16-C-0033) for additional hardware modules and racks in support of the F-35 low-rate initial production Lot 11 aircraft for the government of Israel under the Foreign Military Sales program.  Work will be […]

Israel Welcomes Latest Trio of F-35s

Three additional Lockheed Martin F-35s landed at Nevatim air base in Israel on 23 April, taking the number of fifth-generation fighters to arrive in the nation to five. An initial pair of the conventional take-off and landing type touched down at the same site on 12 December 2016. The Israeli air force’s “Golden Eagle” squadron […]

BAE Systems Awarded $64 Million to Provide F-35 Countermeasure Systems to the U.S. Air Force, Israel, Others

BAE Systems Information and Electronic System Integration Inc., Nashua, New Hampshire, is being awarded $63,969,918 for undefinitized contract action delivery order 0001 under a previously awarded basic ordering agreement (N00104-16-G-0726) for the new manufacture of transmitter T-1687/ALE-70(V) countermeasures for the Advanced Tactical Aircraft Protection Systems Program Office (PMA272) Air Expendable Countermeasures Program.  Work will be […]

Israel Retires F-16A/B ‘Netz’ Fighters

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) has retired its early model Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft following the completion of deliveries of the Alenia M-346 Master advanced jet trainer and the arrival of the first of its Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters (JSFs). The last of the IAF’s approximately 90 F-16A/B […]

Israel to Acquire 17 More F-35s

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his security cabinet on Sunday evening unanimously approved the purchase of another 17 F-35I fighters, boosting the strength of Israel’s stealth force to 50. The brief Nov. 27 announcement by Netanyahu’s office did not include costs of the package, but defense and industry sources say the package will exceed […]

Israel Plans Speedy Introduction of F-35I

The Israeli air force plans to achieve full operational status of its Lockheed Martin F-35I “Adir” as soon as possible. Air force technicians from the Nevatim air base are due to visit the USA just the delivery of the first two aircraft and will participate in a series of test flights Lockheed plans to perform […]

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 […]

The Six-Day War, Air Supremacy, and the F-35

On the morning of June 5, 1967 Israel conducted a preemptive air strike on Egypt, initiating what was to be known as the Six-Day War. By the end of the week, Israel had taken the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza Strip from Egypt, the West Bank from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria. The Egyptian […]

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?

In a September 2 letter to Congress, Secretary of State John Kerry insisted that Washington would ensure Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge (QME) in the wake of the Iran nuclear deal. The letter highlighted items the Obama administration has provided Israel, including the delivery of Jerusalem’s first F-35 stealth fighters slated for next year. But expectations […]

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