Israel plans to buy a third squadron of F-35 fighter jets from the US government in a deal valued at about $3 billion.
The purchase of the aircraft, manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corp., will be financed by US military aid, Israel’s defense ministry said.
Global interest in the F-35 has soared because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The US last week approved the sale of as many as 24 of the planes to the Czech Republic, and South Korea has indicated it wants more of the jets as well. Israel was the first to receive the plane outside of the US.
The acquisition will expand Israel’s fleet of the stealth aircraft by 25, to 75. The final decision to buy the planes was made by Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on the recommendation of Israeli military and defense officials.
Both Lockheed Martin and engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney, a unit of Raytheon Technologies Corp., have committed to involving Israeli defense industries in the production of aircraft components.