Israeli Air Force to buy F-35Bs?

Israel May Switch to STOVL JSFs

Israel is currently planning to acquire up to 100 of the conventional take-off F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters, but

with the rapidly expanding missile threat from Gaza in the south, Lebanon in the north and – in worst-case future scenarios – from the West Bank hugging the Israeli heartland, runways could become vulnerable. As a result, the IAF may be compelled for the first time to operate in the type of improvised, austere environments envisioned for the STOVL variant of the JSF.

Government and military sources here say the specter of increasingly accurate, long-range missiles in the hands of Hamas and Hizbollah terrorists already has prompted the spending of tens of millions of dollars over the past three years to harden air bases and fortify weapon depots.

The STOVL B models carry less fuel and payload, but Israeli planes don’t have far to go before entering enemy territory.

Comments

  1. Well Murdoc I tried to email this to you but the ‘contact’ link wasn’t working for me. {http://americanagility.com} you should check this out; really sweet. I don’t know which is cooler, the vehicle concept or the way they are working around the procurement process.

  2. Well Murdoc I tried to email this to you but the ‘contact’ link wasn’t working for me. {http://americanagility.com} you should check this out; really sweet. I don’t know which is cooler, the vehicle concept or the way they are working around the procurment process.

  3. I think the VTOL version of the F-35 is the only one worth having for the US. It would seem to me it makes even more sense for Israel given its small size. Certainly it won’t be able to land on a patch of dry, bare ground, but both Israel and the US have plenty of paved surfaces they could operate those jets from. Given the results of the GAO report released recently, I think we’d all be money ahead if they’d get ditch of the other versions of that airplane right now, and those Pratt and Whitney engines too.

    The cost of Lockheed Martin’s Joint Strike Fighter, already the most expensive weapons program ever, is projected to increase as much as $38 billion, congressional auditors said yesterday. That would bring the price of 2,458 F-35s to $337 billion, 45 percent more than estimated when the program began in October 2001. ‘Midway through development, the program is over cost and behind schedule,’ Michael J. Sullivan, director of acquisition and sourcing management for the Government Accountability Office, told two panels of the House Armed Services Committee that oversee military spending. – Washington Post

  4. I’ve never liked the F-35, it really annoys the crap out of me. It feels like a shitty version of the F-22, ill designed (its heavier than a F-22 even if much smaller!). There is a spirit of mediocrity on this plane…maybe the electronics are awesome, but as a plane, the F-16 feels superior, and the F-16 was designed more than 30 years ago! It looks like that the guys who made the F-35 think like ‘Oh, being stealth compensates all its mediocrity’.

  5. You hit the nail on the head there, Vitor. I totally agree. I had the same feeling myself when I saw both those JSF pieces of garbage. I’ve never seen any weapons competition in the US produce two worse pieces of crap.