The Ministry of Defense has released an update on the fulfillment of the current U.S.-Israel procurement agreements ahead of the projected December 2016 arrival of the first F-35’s.
In the framework of the industry cooperation agreement signed in 2010 by the Defense Ministry’s Procurement Department and the plane’s manufacturers led by primary contractor Lockheed Martin, 3.8 billion shekels ($993 million) worth of reciprocal procurement transactions have thus far been signed. Since December 2015, new deals amounting to 835 million shekels have been signed, marking a 28 percent jump in reciprocal procurement.
Since the start of 2016, the Israeli defense industries have succeeded in increasing contracts with Lockheed Martin on the project:
Israel’s Elbit Systems and the American Rockwell Collins increased contracts for the manufacturing of the Generation III helmet-mounted display system by approximately $190 million.
Israel Aerospace Initiatives (IAI) expanded its production of the wings by roughly $26 million.
Other Israeli industries involved in the manufacturing of the aircraft subsystems and operating software and training include: SimiGon, the developer of the aircraft simulation program, Tadiran (Elbit Systems), the supplier of radio amplifiers, Cyclone, producing parts of the body of the plane, Cabiran will produce boxes for the aircraft’s systems, and Gilboa will specialize precise machinery.
The F-35 fighter aircraft, also known as the JSF (Joint Strike Fighter), or in Israel as the Adir, is a fifth generation stealth fighter. The plane is manufactured in three models: Model A, conventional takeoff and landing, Model B, short takeoff and vertical landing, and Model C, operational from aircraft carriers. The Ministry of Defense purchased Model A aircraft for the Israeli Air Force (IAF) but will implement its unique capabilities and advanced Israeli weaponry.