The letter of offer and acceptance for the supply of 20 Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighters to the Israeli air force was signed in New York on 7 October.

"We're very pleased with the government of Israel's decision to move forward with the US government's letter of offer and acceptance for the F-35," says Tom Burbage, Lockheed executive vice-president and general manager of F-35 Program Integration.

"This is another step in the long-standing relationship between Lockheed Martin and the nation of Israel. The Lightning II will strengthen Israel's national security posture both militarily and industrially."

The Joint Strike Fighter purchase will involve an immediate $1 billion in offset work for Israeli defence companies. This will grow if Israel exercises options to purchase more of the aircraft.

 F-35A JSF pair - Lockheed Martin
© Lockheed Martin

The $2.75 billion contract includes 20 F-35s and related infrastructure, and deliveries should begin in 2016.

Israel will be the first nation to receive the F-35 through the USA's Foreign Military Sales mechanism.

Source: Flight International