The Israeli Defense Ministry said Sunday that Israel will acquire a third fleet of Lockheed Martin-made F-35 fighter jets using US military aid funds.
The deal for 25 F-35 fighter jets is estimated to cost about $3 billion and will be purchased through Foreign Military Financing (FMF), a US State Department program that gives foreign governments money to buy US arms.
The Israeli arms industry will also benefit from the deal. The Israeli Defense Ministry said that as part of the agreement, Lockheed Martin and the engine manufacturer, Pratt & Whitney, have “committed to involving Israeli defense industries in the production of aircraft components sold.”
“This new agreement will ensure the continuation of cooperation between American companies and Israeli defense industries in the production of aircraft parts,” the Israeli Defense Ministry added.
The US and Israel signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2016 that gives Israel $33 billion in FMF and $5 billion in aid for missile defense systems over 10 years. The MOU covers Fiscal Year 2019 to FY2028, giving Israel $3.8 billion in military aid annually.
In 2022, Israel got an extra $1 billion in military aid from the US to go toward its Iron Dome missile defense system. Israel requested $1 billion in additional aid following a May 2021 bombing campaign in Gaza that killed at least 256 Palestinians, including 67 children.