American military cooperation with Israel has been solid for many years, but with the new sale of 19 state-of-the-art F-35 Jets, that relationship has been strengthened further, as the United States bolsters her democratic interests in the Middle East.
Israel Aerospace Industries, together with representatives of the Israeli Ministry of Defense, were proud to announce on Tuesday that Israel is to receive the new jets, at a cost of $2.7 billion, from the US Army and Lockheed-Martin.
The vital transaction was finalized last week between Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, during Ya’alon’s recent U.S. visit but in practice, the deal will only become properly final when the U.S. government signs off on the deal in a public announcement.
The $2.7 billion for the 19 jets will be deducted from the annual military budget given to Israel by America as part of their foreign policy stipends in the region.
It won’t be until 2016 until Israeli fighter pilots will receive the new jets, which they will train on at a US Air Force base in Arizona.
Despite some comments from President Obama recently suggesting a rift between Israel and the United States in terms of outlook, especially regarding the stalled peace process with the Palestinians, military cooperation between the two countries is strong and may even be at all time high.
As Ya’alon said to reporters following his visit to America.
Relations between the United States and Israel are based on shared interests and values, and a dispute or other comments should not cast a shadow over that,” Ya’alon stated.
“The United States supports Israel in a variety of fields – including, of course, security – and we need to remember that and to recognize and thank its leaders for that. The security systems of the two countries have an intimate relationship, one unprecedented in scope and importance to the security of Israel, and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and I have a close relationship.”