At this moment they are “corridor talks” but they may change their nature if the situation of the US F-35 programme does not take a different angle soon, one that will restore the confidence in the projected timetable.
Each piece of information about more possible delays in the delivery dates of the Lockheed Martin stealth fighter affects the nature of these talks.
With the anticipated delivery dates delayed again and again, the Israeli air force (IAF) may look seriously for a “gap filler” that will sustain its capabilities with the F-35s still on the assembly lines in the USA .
Last year, Israel and the USA signed the Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) for the supply of 20 F-35s to the IAF.
The deliveries of these aircraft are expected to begin in 2017.If there are more signs that these expectations cannot be met, the IAF will have to make some very important decisions. All the options will be on the table, according to well informed sources. These will include more upgrades of the IAF’s current combat aircraft fleet or the purchase of a limited number of advanced versions of currently used fighters.