View Full Version : Israel Emerges as First International Customer for the F-35A

12-07-2009, 01:22 PM
Israel Emerges as First International Customer for the F-35A

As the JSF founding members squirm for excuses to cut projected orders, anticipating the program's soaring costs consuming growing shares of local defense budgets, Israel is expected to become the first international customer to commit to the next generation stealth fighter, although the country has not formally joined the program as one of the 'founding members'.

Bowing under unprecedented financial pressure, the U.K. is moving to axe the planned construction of one aircraft carrier, along with up to 88 F-35B (V/STOL) fighters that would be operating on board, saving about 7.6 billion in out-year budget.

Financial issues have also led the Australian government to defer the decisions to commit on the planned procurement of 3-4 squadrons. By delaying procurement decisions to 2010 and possibly cutting the number of aircraft operating with each squadron, from 24 to 14, Canberra is hopeful the A$16 billion investment could be approved next year.

Netherlands and Denmark have not made their final decision about the aircraft yet, although both are supporting the acquisition of the American stealth fighter.

Norway has decided in favour of the JSF but hasn't ordered the aircraft to date. Even the U.S. Air Force has not placed orders for serial production fighters to date.

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