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November 30, 2015 / 18 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘F-35’

Lockheed Worried about IDF Unauthorized ‘Modifications’ in F-35

Sunday, September 6th, 2015

Israel is in the process of preparing the infrastructure and capabilities needed to start operating its first F-35 Adir (Heb = Great) stealth strike fighters by the end of 2017, Defense News reported. The first pair of Adirs will arrive by December 2016, and fly out of the IAF Nevatim Air Base in the Negev.

According to the IDF blog, the new squadron of 19 F-35 jets will be incorporated into the Israeli Air Force beginning in 2019. The newly engineered fighters are a step up from the F-16I, especially with the addition of new state-of-the-art stealth technology and avionics. Each F-35 unit costs around $110 million, according to the Israeli defense ministry.

Steve Over, Lockheed Martin director for F-35 International Business Development, said that even though Israel will have “plenty of capability to do light maintenance in-country,” heavy maintenance of the Adir airframes and engines will be done at Joint Program Office-managed, company-established facilities “just like we do with all our other partners.”

“When you tear an airplane down, you expose its magic,” Over said bluntly. “So that type of work must be performed in designated places.”

Perhaps betraying their reservations about what usually happens the American weapons after the Israelis lay their hands on them, Lockheed executives said Israel would be able to add specific capabilities or upgraded functions—which the Israelis love doing—as long as it did not affect the overall design or the aircraft software. As Over put it:

The Israelis have an ability to do some unique things. But anything wholesale that would impact the design or capabilities driving all the airplanes for all the countries would have to be done by consensual agreement.

The IAF is preparing to send its first group of pilots to train in Arizona next year, at the Luke Air Force Base. At the same time, the IAF will be sending dozens of maintenance professionals to train at US Air Force logistics bases at Eglin, Florida, according to Defense News.

Washington has approved 75 F-35s for export to Israel, of which the IDF has contracted for 33, hoping to be able to absorb another 17 planes by 2020, according to Defense News.

According to the IDF blog, The stealth technology allows the aircraft to fly practically unnoticed by any enemy. For many years, these systems were too expensive to be deployed on small aircraft; therefore they could only be used on larger and more expensive bombers such as the B-2 or the F-117. The newly developed F-35 allows the incorporation of these features at a low maintenance price.

The F-35 is also manufactured with improved electronic systems onboard. Sensors including various radars, infrared systems, and active electronic warfare systems are all mounted on the aircraft during production. They serve as an integral part of the plane and not as “add-ons” which is common in other aircraft.

With these improvements, the IAF pilots will receive a more precise and complete picture of the battlefield in real-time. It will allow them to better position themselves and give them the advantage to come out on top of every mission they must face.

US Promises to Protect Israel if Iran Attacks

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

An Obama administration official told Israeli diplomatic journalists Monday that the United States will protect Israel if Iran attacks it.

He also promised that the United States will not sell the F-35 advanced warplane to any other Middle East country besides Israel.

The briefing served the Obama administration’s current priority to make sure that Congress does not reject the nuclear deal with Iran by a veto-proof majority. President Barack Obama has no chance of winning majority support in the Senate, and Illinois Republican Rep. Peter Roskam declared on Monday that a majority of House members have pledged to back a resolution of disapproval of the nuclear deal

In the briefing with Israeli journalists, a defense official said that the government’s commitment to Israel’s security is “something US defense officials live on a daily basis.”

He also asserted that Iran’s continued declaration to annihilate Israel “doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t sign a deal that decreases the likelihood they will be a nuclear state.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has argued that ObamaDeal actually paves the way for Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. If that is the case, the Obama administration in effect is creating an existential threat to Israel and then proposing a solution that makes Israel dependent on Washington.

Similarly, the promise not to sell F-35 warplanes to other countries n the region, most notably Egypt and Saudi Arabia which have expressed interest in buying the plane, eventually could be used as a tool to force concession from Israel. For example, President Barack Obama, or his successor, could warn Israel that if does not surrender to the Palestinian Authority, Washington will sell the F-35 to Egypt.


Possible Revised F-35 Could Make It for Israel Easier to Attack Iran [video]

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

Lockheed-Martin is studying an Israel request for a longer flight range that would make refueling easier.

The manufacturer of the F-35 stealth attack plane, which Israel might use to attack Iran, is examining an Israeli request to extend the flight range by 30 percent, Amir Rapaport of the Israel Defense website reported Thursday.

Approximately 1,000 miles (1,500 kilometers) separate Israel and Iran, and the current F-35 is designed to fly approximately the same distance without refueling.

The IDF has asked the range to be extended to 1,500 miles, according to Rapaport.

That still would require refueling before Israeli attack planes could return home, but a longer flight range would preclude refueling en route or having to use a base closer to Iran, such as Azerbaijan. A longer flight range also would widen the choices where Israeli pilots could land for refueling on their way home from a bombing mission.

Israel Defense noted that special versions of the F-15 and F-16 include additional fuel tanks, but that option is less practical for the F-35. Even adding fuel capacity by 30 percent would make the airplane larger, challenge engineers to retain the F-35’s stealth capabilities.

IAF teams reportedly are working with Lockheed-Martin in Texas before the first F-35s are due to arrive in Israel towards the end of 2016.

As in the previous planes, Israel has introduced several improvements for the stealth fighter.
Rapaport wrote that sources said:

Israel will significantly improve the aircraft as it once did with the F-15 and F-16.

The F-35 is considered by many Israeli defense officials to be its answer to Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon if an agreement between the P5+1 powers and Tehran does not halt the program.
Below: Video of F-35 in action

67 Years of the IDF in 81 Seconds [video]

Friday, April 24th, 2015

The film shows soldiers from the days of simple artillery guns to today, when Israel is one of the most sophisticated armed forces in the world.

IDF is planning to replace the world-famous Merkava with a new tank will be able to fire lasers and electromagnetic pulses, run on a hybrid engine and  run faster with a crew as small as two.

The Israeli Air Force wants to purchase as many as 100 F-35 Lightning II fighter jets from the United States, which will use Israeli-built electronic warfare systems, outer-wings, guided bombs, and air-to-air missiles.

In the distant future, the Air Force is planning on being able to use unmanned planes and satellites to carry out almost all aerial combat operations

The Israeli Navy has four Dolphin-class submarines and is waiting for the arrival of two more.

Latest F-35 Flaw Makes Jet Problematic for Israel

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Not even off the lot, the Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jet is turning into an even bigger lemon than first anticipated by Israeli politicians who fought the deal forced on the Jewish State with a U.S. military aid package by the White House.

A story published over the weekend on the U.S. Air Force website revealed “the F-35 has a fuel temperature threshold, and may not function properly if the fuel temperature is too high.”

The problem was troubling enough that seven USAF bases are testing new ways to “mitigate any possible aircraft shutdowns due to high fuel temperatures in the future,” according to the report” quoted by Defense Aerospace.com.

So far, one fuel tanker has been painted white – at a cost of $3,900 – at Edwards Air Force Base, California, in an attempt to “ensure the F-35 is able to meet its sortie requirements.”

The same idea was tried at Luke AFB shortly after, according to the report, because at Luke, “temperatures can reach beyond 110 degrees (Farenheit).” It was believed that painting the tanks white would “help prevent fuel stored in the tanks from overheating.”

But some technicians came up with an even better idea: “This is the short-term goal to cool the fuel for the F-35; however, the long-term fix is to have parking shades for the refuelers,” according to Chief Master Sgt. Ralph Resch, the 56th LRS fuels manager for the 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.

Bright white paint may cool off the fuel tankers but it will heat up a conflict in the Middle East faster than you can say “hot target in sight!”

Moreover, many areas of the Middle East reach beyond 120 degrees Farenheit during the summer months. Needless to say, a summer war is also much easier to fight than one in the winter, even without such encouragement. Add in the disadvantage of a fighter jet whose fuel broils in the sun, and the average enemy force would be silly not to plan for a summer conflict.

Nevertheless, Israel ordered its first lot of 19 of the F-35s in 2010 for $2.75 billion, to be delivered in December 2016.

Earlier this month, the cabinet voted to approve a reduced order to buy an additional 14 of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter jets. Also approved was an option to order another 17 of the warplanes in 2017.

A final deal to purchase a total of 50 of the warplanes for two squadrons was approved by the Israeli government cabinet in October of this year, at a cost well above the original price tag.

A ministerial panel headed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and then-Defense Minister Ehud Barak made the initial approval in September 2010 for the purchase of 20 F-35 fighter jets.

That decision was made despite intense opposition from a number of senior defense officials over the high cost of the deal. For a price of nearly $3 billion, Israel would receive the 20 F-35s in 2016, with an option to buy another 75 of the aircraft.

The F-35 already had numerous design compromises at that point that irked Israeli leaders. Many Israeli systems were rejected by the U.S. government, which refused to allow Lockheed Martin to install them on the aircraft.

Because Israel does not have full control over the design and modifications on the F-35, including access to the aircraft’s software codes, its use to the IDF is limited.

By May 2011, Israeli defense officials told the World Tribune the problems with the F-35 were “much worse than we had been told.”

Two months later, the U.S. agreed to allow F-35s purchased by Israel to be rewired in order to accommodate the installation of Israeli electronic warfare system and eventual additions of other sensors and other systems.

Israel Finalizes Trimmed F-35 Order From US

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Israel’s cabinet voted Sunday to approve a reduced order to purchase 14 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter jets.

The government has been discussing the issue of how many of the warplanes to buy since January.

Also approved was an option to order another 17 of the F-35s in 2017.

The original deal approved by U.S. and Israeli defense chiefs in October 2014 included the purchase of 50 of the warplanes for two squadrons, with two of the jets to be used in experiments by the IAF.

Since then, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel tendered his resignation to President Barack Obama, although he agreed to remain at his post until a replacement is found and confirmed by the Senate.

And although Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon remains in his position, Israel’s entire government coalition is likely to change due to what appears to be a collection of irreconcilable differences leading the country to early elections.

Israel already had ordered 19 F-35s in 2010 for $2.75 billion, which are due to arrive in December 2016.

This week’s decision brings the total number of planes purchased to 33 instead of the original 50 agreed upon, all of which were to be acquired with U.S. military aid.

Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz was particularly opposed to the purchase, questioning the need for the plane due to manufacturing setbacks in the past. The high cost of the fighter jet was another factor raised by Steinitz and several others, who expressed belief there were better ways to spend their military dollars.

In the United States, the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps all grounded their F-35 squadrons on July 3 after a fire in the rear of a plane forced a pilot to abandon takeoff at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

However, South Korea purchased 40 of the aircraft for its F-X fighter acquisition program in September, to be delivered starting in 2018. The contract, worth $7.1 billion, marked the country’s biggest weapons deal.

Will Israel Reduce F-35 Order From US?

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

Israel’s ministerial committee is revisiting a preliminary deal to buy 25 to 31 F-35 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin Corp.

The committee allegedly wants to halve the tentative order by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, according to Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz.

A majority of committee members were opposed to the deal as it currently stands, Steinitz told Reuters on Monday. The ministers suggested a purchase of 10 to 15 planes instead, with a final decision to come in the near future.

Among the reasons cited for the decision was the issue of cuts in the defense budget, as well as questions over whether the F-35’s range, payload and maneuverability really met Israel’s needs.

An original contract signed in 2010 to purchase 19 of the warplanes for $275 billion left open the option to buy 75 of the jets, or three squadrons.

However, there is a growing sense among some Israelis that it is time for the Jewish State to begin producing its own weapons and ammunition — including its own warplanes.

This summer’s block by the White House on delivery of Hellfire missiles during the IDF’s Operation Protective Edge — in fact, its holdup of any military hardware whatsoever — did not sit well with the Israeli public, and served as a wakeup call even to those on the moderate left end of the political spectrum.

“We are not the Defense Ministry’s rubber stamp,” Steinitz told Reuters. Nevertheless, a source in the defense establishment told the news agency the ministerial committee is likely to compromise on the deal, possibly purchasing 13 of the F-35s this year, and another 18 in 2017.

The F35s that were purchased in 2010 are scheduled for delivery between 2016 and 2018.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/will-israel-reduce-f-35-order-from-us/2014/11/18/

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