20 F-35’s purchased by Israel will be ‘entirely funded’ by the U.S. military.
A panel headed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak approved the purchase of 20 F-35 for the Israeli Air Force (I.A.F.), Thursday, Barak Ravid reported today at Ha’aretz.
The jets are valued at an estimated $2.75bn are in the deal. “The entire deal will be funded by American military,” Mr Ravid added:
Negotiations dragged on for more than two years amid several disagreements; many revolved around the I.A.F.’s demands that Israeli-made systems be installed for specialties such as electronic warfare and communications. Israel also wanted to expand the plane’s capacity to allow it to carry Israeli-made missiles.
The Americans declined, however, insisting that the deal was a “closed package” and none of the components could be altered. In any case, the F-35 will give the I.A.F. outstanding radar-dodging capabilities that allow preemptive strikes against enemy states with advanced air defense technologies.
The first jets are expected to arrive in Israel in 2015. Over/under on how many governments are labeled by Washington as “states who sponsor terrorism” between now and then?
Meanwhile, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today that poverty in America is at a 15-year-high, as Al Jazeera English reported:
The report showed that one in seven Americans lived in poverty last year, while the overall poverty rate climbed to 14.3 per cent, or 43.6 million people, from 13.2 per cent, or 39.8 million people, in 2008.
The figures showed that the poverty rate in 2009 was the highest since 1994, but was 8.1 percentage points lower than the poverty rate in 1959, the first year for which poverty estimates are available, the Census Bureau said.
Obama called 2009 a tough year for working families but said it could have been worse.
Yeah, it could’ve. The U.S. military could’ve donated the 75 jets requested by Tel Aviv.