Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Space Industry and Business News  

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Israel buys F-35 jets with eyes on Iran

IAEA, Germany see 'signals' Iran ready to talk: Berlin
Berlin (AFP) Oct 8, 2010 - The International Atomic Energy Agency and Germany have detected signs Iran is ready to talk about its nuclear programme, Germany's foreign minister said Friday after talks with the head of the UN watchdog. "We have not been able so far to detect any substantial changes in the Iranian government's behaviour. However we are detecting new signals of a readiness to talk," Guido Westerwelle told reporters after talks with IAEA chief Yukiya Amano in Berlin.

"Whether this readiness to talk leads to concrete talks that are hopefully constructive, time will tell. But it seems that these signals are being transmitted. We have both detected this in our respective areas." The UN Security Council adopted a fourth set of sanctions against Iran on June 9 over Tehran's failure to heed repeated ultimatums to freeze uranium enrichment. The West led by Washington suspects that Iran is seeking to make atomic weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear programme, a charge denied by Tehran. Germany is one of six countries negotiating with Iran over its nuclear programme, along with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, the United States, China, Russia, Britain and France.
by Staff Writers
Tel Aviv, Israel (UPI) Oct 8, 2010
Israel's purchase of 20 Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighters, the world's most advanced combat jets, significantly enhances the Jewish state's ability to defend itself "by itself," in the words of U.N. Ambassador Michael Oren.

His comment following Thursday's contract signing in New York, is a clear reference to possible conflict with Iran, against whose nuclear installations Israel has threatened to launch pre-emptive strikes.

However, Israel is unlikely to take delivery of the first of the fifth- generation fighters until 2015 at the earliest, with completion scheduled for 2017.

That should rule the F-35s out of any long-range mission against Iran for at least four years, by which time the Tehran regime may already have developed a nuclear weapon.

The $2.75 billion contract was signed by the director-general of Israel's Defense Ministry, retired Maj. Gen. Ehud Shani, and the Deputy Undersecretary of the U.S. Air Force Heidi Honecker Grant after several years of tortuous negotiations.

The F-35s will equip one squadron of the Israeli air force, with each aircraft costing around $96 million, together with training simulators, spare parts and associated equipment.

Oren said that Israel expected to acquire "a couple of dozen" more F-35s at an unspecified time. Israel had initially wanted to buy 25 of the radar-evading fighters with an option for 50 more -- enough to equip four squadrons with most powerful aircraft in the Middle East.

Most of the cost involved in the 20-unit sale will be covered by U.S. military aid to Israel, which currently runs at around $3 billion a year, plus Israel's defense industry will get around $1.4 billion in contracts for components for the jets.

The timing of the contract suggested the U.S. administration of President Barack Obama may have fast-tracked the deal as an inducement to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to extend a freeze on settlement building in the West Bank, still largely under Israeli occupation, to salvage threatened peace talks with the Palestinians.

Obama has staked a lot of political capital into reviving the peace process and achieving some sort of agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

That would be a major political coup for him, although it is unlikely in the current climate that significant progress can be achieved before the Nov. 2 U.S. midterm elections.

There has been little sign that Netanyahu's right-wing-led coalition was prepared to risk a domestic backlash by extending the 10-month freeze launched in 2009 and which recently expired.

The White House last week denied reports that Obama had offered Netanyahu significant military, political and economic incentives for a two-month building moratorium extension.

However, Oren told The Washington Post that the administration had made "a number of suggestions, incentives if you would, to the Israelis that would enable the government to maybe pass a limited extension of two or three months."

Israel has recently received pledges of hefty U.S. financial support to develop air-defense systems to counter hostile missiles -- currently a critical threat not only to military installations such as air bases but to major population and industrial centers such as Tel Aviv as well.

It will be the first country to receive F-35s through the U.S. government's Foreign Military Sales process, thus becoming the first customer outside the nine-nation U.S.-led group developing the jet.

The F-35 program has been plagued by problems that have delayed it by two years and driven up the cost of the aircraft. The Israeli purchase could help counteract those setbacks.

Lockheed Martin, the lead contractor, claims the F-35's stealth capabilities and integrated weapons systems make it superior to all other aircraft in air-to-air combat while being able to conduct ground-attack missions.

Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems of Britain are providing key components for the program.

The F-35, which is destined to equip the U.S. Air Force, the Marine Corps and the U.S. Navy, is being developed in three configurations, the A version for conventional operations, the F-35B for short takeoff and vertical landing, and the C for navy carriers.

Israel is acquiring the F-35A version but the Americans have agreed to allow Israel to install its own electronic warfare and communications systems and it will be designated as the F-35I.

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links
Aerospace News at

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Norway delays order of F-35s
Oslo, Norway (UPI) Oct 1, 2010
The Norwegian government says it will delay its purchase of 16 of 20 F-35A Joint Strike Fighters as part of its bid to slash spending. The Norwegian Defense Ministry said the order would be pushed back by two years to 2018, reaffirming, however, its commitment as a "serious and credible partner" to the Joint Strike Fighters program. Defense Minister Grete Faremo said the delay si ... read more

Japan seeks solutions for rare earth curb

GetJar out to make mobile phone applications free

No 3D magic for new Harry Potter movie

US parents want better privacy protections for kids: survey

Indian army in communication system tender

Military Terrestrial Satcom Market To Grow Slightly

MEADS Demonstrates Interoperability With NATO

Space security surveillance gets new boost

ILS Proton Launch To Launch AsiaSat 7 In 2011

Eutelsat's W3B Telecommunications Satellite Arrives For Launch

Russia's Rokot Carrier Rockets To Launch Two ESA Satellites

Integration Of Six Globalstar Satellites Is Complete

Broadcom Announces Support For New QZSS Satellites Launched By Japan

Canadian drives into a marsh using GPS

Raytheon Completes GPS OCX Integrated Baseline Review

Japan's first GPS satellite in operational orbit

Israel buys F-35 jets with eyes on Iran

Brazil delays decision for jets deal

Norway delays order of F-35s

BAE pushes Hawk jet trainers for Iraq

Motorola sues Apple for patent infringement

Intel to spend 2.7 billion dollars on Israel plant upgrade

Optical Chip Enables New Approach To Quantum Computing

Spin Soliton Could Be A Hit In Cell Phone Communication

iLOOKABOUT Scales Out Geospatial Imaging Opeations With Isilon

ESA And Oil Industries Explore Applications From Space

Google brings 'Street View' to Antarctica

Global Consortium Of Space Agencies To Meet At USGS

Hungary village evacuated as new toxic flood 'likely'

Hungary plays down toxic spill threat, toll rises to seven

Hungarian aluminium company offers compensation to victims

Denials slow battle against Nigeria lead poisoning

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement