Israel orders more F-35 warplanes from US

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JERUSALEM: Israel will order 17 more US-made F-35 warplanes to take its fleet of stealthy Joint Strike Fighters to 50 over the next few years, the premier’s office said on Sunday. A statement from Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said the green light for the order was given by the security cabinet. The Jewish state is due to take delivery of its first F-35s next month. US officials and industry executives insist the plane promises to become the ultimate stealth fighter jet, able to evade enemy radar while flying at supersonic speeds. Outfitted with elaborate software, the F-35 resembles a flying computer. Through the visor of a hi-tech helmet linked to on-board cameras, the pilot can “see” through the cockpit floor to the ground below — providing an unprecedented 360-degree view. Israeli public radio said the purchase will come under the US military aid program — in September, President Barack Obama signed off on a 10-year military aid package for Israel worth $38 billion — the largest in US history. Israeli company Elbit Systems is taking part in the manufacture of hi-tech helmets for F-35 pilots, and state-owned Israel Military Industries manufactures aircraft parts.

AFP

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