In preparation for the December 2016 arrival of Israel’s first F-35 Air fighter plane, the Ministry of Defense last week completed its semi-annual data summary to reveal that since first signing with the plane’s manufacturers led by American firm Lockheed Martin in 2010, the Defense Ministry’s Procurement Department has purchased locally $993 million in reciprocal procurement transactions so far. Since December 2015, new deals amounting to $220 million have been signed, marking a 28 percent jump in reciprocal procurement.
Since the start of 2016, the following Israeli defense industries have increased their 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, specializing in precise machinery.
Deputy Defense Ministry Director General and Head of Procurement, Brig. Gen. (res) Shmuel Tzuckersaid in a statement: “We are proud of the achievements of the defense industry from the first half of 2016, which has injected hundreds of millions of shekels into the Israeli defense industries and, in particular, to enterprises in Carmiel, in Kibbutz Cabri and other towns along the ‘confrontation line’ in the north. We turned to the following reciprocal transactions and will work to cross the billion dollar threshold in the near future.”
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 F-35A Adir will be a significant addition to maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge in the Middle East, with the advanced capability to defeat emerging threats, such as advanced missiles. The F-35 combines advanced low observable stealth technology with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment.