Aviation News

October 8, 2010

Israel Orders 20 Lockheed Martin F-35 Fighter Jets

Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter AA-1
An F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, marked AA-1, lands Oct. 23 at Edwards Air Force Base. (USAF photo)
Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter AA-1

An F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, marked AA-1, lands Oct. 23 at Edwards Air Force Base. (USAF photo)

After Israel on Thursday reached a contract agreement with the U.S. government to buy F-35 stealth fighter jets, Syria’s Foreign Minister says the deal threatens security in the region, local media reported Friday.

These latest jets are capable of flying without being detected by radars and subsequently anti-aircraft missiles.

The contract was signed in New York by the Director General of Isreal’s Defense Ministry Ehud Shani, which could be expanded to 75 more fighter jets. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the agreement would strengthen Israel’s military.

Last month, Defense Minister Ehud Barak the F-35 would provide Israel with “continued air superiority and help retain its qualitative military edge in the region,” stating that the fighter jets would provide improved capabilities for Israeli security operation near and far.

However, Walid Muallem, Syria’s Foreign Minister, warned that the announced agreement seriously threatens the “stability and security in the region.”

“We are told that (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu will announce a two-month freeze on settlements, provided this issue is not raised again, and obtain in exchange a deal for very sophisticated arms,” he said. “The question is no longer a two-month settlement freeze, but rather a threat to Arab security,” Muallem added.