Lockheed Martin has made what is being described by sources as a "very general" offer to have Israel Aerospace Industries manufacture fuselage parts for it F-35 Joint Strike Fighter as part of its effort to encourage Israel to buy the aircraft as early as 2014.
The Israeli air force has expressed its intention to purchase 25 F-35s with options for another 50, but the $135 million unit price for aircraft in its configuration has put the timing of the acquisition in question.
In February 2002 Israel joined the JSF programme as a security co-operation participant, a relatively low status giving it some programme information.
The air force and Israeli defence and aerospace industries are attempting through a special liaison office in Washington to influence the final configuration of F-35s for Israel, but their efforts have so far had little effect.
© Lockheed Martin