Friday, June 8, 2012

If the F-35 is so bad, why does Israel want a second squadron

Well obviously that’s because the F-35 isn’t at all as bad as the critics would like you to believe.

Most people who know anything about Israel know that the Israeli Defense Forces are very astute when it comes to their military equipment.  The reality is that the entire future existence of their country might hinge on what they fly in the coming years.

The Israelis understand that economics mean a shrinking force structure in the future and so it is important they find the most capable weapons system available. 

"The shrinking force structure problem points us toward fewer, but more sophisticated, platforms," former air force commander and chief of the defense staff Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz observed recently. "The F-35 fits this trend exactly."

Originally the plan was for a single squadron of F-35s in Israel, but it has now increased to two squadrons:

Israel ultimately wants to acquire 75 F-35s, to replace Lockheed Martin's F-16I and Boeing's F-15I to form the spearhead of its strategic air power, particularly in terms of long-range strikes against Iran.

Israel has obviously concluded that while it’s 4th generation fighters are still viable for right now, even with future upgrades, they don’t provide the air power necessary for Israel’s future national security.

Of course delays here in the US could obviously impact the Israelis.  But, confident in their new purchase, they are moving ahead with the hope their order will be expedited:

"According to initial plans, the (air force) would place the order for the second squadron in late 2012-early 2013 and begin receiving the planes in 2020," The Jerusalem Post reported.

"It is possible, however, that the United States would attach the new squadron to the one ordered in 2010 and expedite the delivery if the order is placed soon."

Their pilots would begin training in 2016.

Critics constantly claim the F-35 is a “flying elephant”, or “too costly” or “too complex” and should be “scrapped”.

Yet here we have a nation which has a track record of ensuring they have the best available equipment in their inventory and they’re seeking more F-35s than they originally desired.

You decide which side has more credibility.



  1. Israel don't pay for the F-35, its a gift from the US.