Israeli Defense Minister Benny Kants has announced his intention to purchase a third battalion of US F-35 pirate fighters from the United States.
Kants said he hopes to end the deal before Jan. 20, before leaving the White House as outgoing US President Donald Trump.
“We have no doubt to strengthen our fleet with the F-35s, they currently have two battalions … we will buy a third battalion … this is what I asked the Americans,” local media quoted Kantz as saying.
The Trump administration has been in talks with Israel and Washington to discuss how to maintain its military dominance in the Middle East since approving the F-35 deal with the United Arab Emirates last year.
In the past, it was Israeli security to possess this type of aircraft in the region.
Kantz did not specify how many F-35s he would like to bring from the United States. Security officials say there are 50 aircraft in the two battalions already under Israeli control.
When asked if Israel would finalize the air deal before Trump’s departure, Kantz said: “I believe so. I think the defense budget should be considered more appropriate as an insurance measure.”
The ruling coalition in Israel collapsed last month, formed from the Kants-led “Blue and White” party and Likud, led by Benjamin Netanyahu.
In light of this decline, elections will be held next March 23, with both Netanyahu and Kants in office until elections with the new government.
Israel was the first country in the world to use US F-35s to carry out airstrikes.
In May 2018, the Israeli Air Force announced that it was using a hijacked aircraft to carry out airstrikes on Iranian targets in Syria, at which time the Israeli military released pictures of F-35 fighters flying over the Lebanese capital, Beirut.
What do we know about this fighter?
Developed by Lockheed Martin of the United States, the F-35 was first flown into US forces in 2006 as a future aircraft and for a number of purposes.
There are three prototypes of the F-35, namely: the “A” model, which takes off and descends using runways Model B, which takes off and descends vertically; Model “C” is intended to work on aircraft carriers.
This aircraft is distinguished by its ability to evade enemy radar devices, and it can fly undetected hostile airspace, which also helps attack enemy aircraft. The pilot’s helmet has a display screen so the aircraft does not have to move towards the enemy target to shoot it.
The F-35 has state-of-the-art communications equipment, sensors and aircraft technology so that it is in constant contact with the command center, and the pilot can monitor the enemy, disable his radar and prevent enemy attacks.