Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has won a 10-15 year contract potentially worth $2.5 billion to build the wings for the F-35 stealth bomber, which is due to arrive in Israel in 2016.
IAI and Lockheed Martin have begun setting up the production line for the F-35′s wings at an Israeli facility, the Israeli business website Globes reported.
“The F-35 is an important milestone for IAI, and guarantees the company’s involvement in advanced combat aircraft. I welcome the strengthening of the ties with Lockheed Martin,” said IAI CEO Joseph Weiss.
The announcement’s timing with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s visit to Israel underscores the military-industrial complex behind American military aid to Israel and other countries.
Hagel finalized a new defense deal between the United States and Israel that he said will give Israel technological superiority.
Israel is forking out a huge amount of money to buy the F-35 jets, and the United States will assist Israel with Boeing air-to-air refueling jets, which Globes said, “it has only been able to dream about until now.”
The refueling ability increases Israel’s capability to strike long-distance targets, not the least of which is Iran.
The IAF will also receive the V-22 Osprey tilt rotor aircraft, a unique aerial platform that until now has only been in operation with the US Air Force. The Israeli-based Elbit Systems Company manufactures hi-tech helmets for the pilots of the V-22, which can land and take off vertically like a helicopter.