Washington to arm Israel with 20 stealth planes
|Sunday, October 10,2010 14:13|
WASHINGTON, -- Israel and U.S. representatives signed in the Israeli Consulate in New York Thursday night an arms deal under which Israel will buy 20 F-35 fighter planes (stealth) from the U.S. for 2.75 billion dollars.
The deal will be funded by security assistance the U.S. provides to Israel, while Israeli military industries will be involved in developing some of the combat equipment on the first batch of planes which will be delivered in six years.
Under the deal, Israel will be entitled to acquire 55 other F-35 fighter planes at a later stage.
Israeli ministry of war's director general Udi Shani said during the signing ceremony: “These planes open a new era of greatness for us. The intention is to purchase other squadrons of these planes.”
He described the deal as the opening of a historical new era wherein Israel can cope with threats far and near.
Shani said the deal is another expression of the strategic alliance between Israel and the United States and the latter’s commitment to maintain the Israeli military superiority.