[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA:
"The advantages listed by O'Bryan stem from the plane’s characteristics:
...perhaps most important of all, it can fly without being revealed by radar
or the most sensitive, advanced instruments possessed by the countries
More correctly: it can fly without being revealed by radar or the most
sensitive, advanced instruments possessed - TO THE BEST OF OUR KNOWLEDGE AS
OF 6 JULY 2012 - by the countries around us."
OK. So let's assume that as of 6 July 2012 it can fly without being
That isn't the operative question.
What are the odds that as of the beginning of 2017, delivery date, that our
neighbors don't acquire a gizmo that can detect it?
Oops. That's also not the operative question.
Because we are going to plunk down many billions of dollars on equipment,
parts, training, special facilities for these jets with the idea,
apparently, that these jets are going to give us an edge for at least two
What are the odds that as of the beginning of 2027 that our neighbors don't
acquire a gizmo that can detect it?
What are the odds that as of the beginning of 2032 that our neighbors don't
acquire a gizmo that can detect it?
Now those are one aspect of the operative questions.
Here are three more operative questions:
What will the IAF be able to do with these jets if our neighbors posses a
Is there an alternative suite of technologies that we can invest in today
whose efficacy does not hinge on the failure of the international arms
industry from coming up with a gizmo that no doubt the entire industry is
seeking to be the first to develop (given that the odds are extremely high
that while the cost of developing such a gizmo may be a fortune that the per
unit production costs for the gizmo will be a fraction of the cost of the
stealth jets it will detect).
And finally: given the fact that there are jet manufacturers (Russia) also
introducing stealth jets - and thus even if the US doesn't get around to
supplying our neighbors with F-35's the Russians probably will - doesn't it
make sense for us to invest in developing a detection gizmo instead of
spending money on the jet that's going to be detected in the end?
After all - it isn't as if stealth jets have any advantage fighting stealth
If we don’t develop a way to detect these jets we may face a nightmare
scenario in the coming years.]
Israel to Upgrade Air Force With F-35 Advanced Aircrafts
By:Hanan Greenberg posted on Thursday, Jul 5, 2012
Not long ago, a thick cloud of rumors settled on the new, much-talked-about
IDF [Israel Defense Forces] acquisition of 20 F-35's, a fighter plane known
as the Stealth produced by the American Lockheed Martin Company. There were
rumors regarding production slowdowns and delays of the F-35, known as the
“fifth generation fighter plane” (in contrast to the Israeli
fourth-generation F-16's). The fear is that they will reach Israel very
late — too late to serve the IDF in coping with future challenges.
About this Article
After rumors circulated about production slowdowns, aircraft manufacturer
Lockheed Martin made it clear that there are no disruptions in the F-35
fighter aircraft development, writes Hanan Greenberg. The advanced aircraft
will arrive to Israel in less than five years.
Publisher: Maariv (Israel)
Fire up the engines
Author: Hanan Greenberg
Translated On: Thursday, Jul 5, 2012
Translator: Sandy Bloom
Categories : Israel Security
Lockheed Martin officials rarely circulate official statements regarding
their planes. Nevertheless, Steve O'Bryan (vice president for F-35 business
development) elucidated in an interview with Ma’ariv Magazine, “We will meet
the deadline that we set.”
O'Bryan, an F-18 pilot by training, recently visited Israel. Among his
duties in Lockheed Martin is responsibility for coordinating details of the
business transaction with Israel. In a conversation with him, O'Bryan
dissipates the rumors regarding postponement of the planes’ delivery date.
“The various delays are not significant with regard to the overall schedule
of the process,” he explains. “We will meet the deadline that was set.
[However,] it is possible that some of the upgrades will be carried out at a
later date in Israel.”
According to O'Bryan, the aircrafts will be handed over to Israeli air force
pilots in the American Eglin Air Force Base, South Florida sometime in the
second half of 2016. Israeli airmen can begin training on the spot, and will
return to Israel at the beginning of 2017. The transaction includes 20
fighter planes, at the cost of approximately $2.7 billion. According to our
IDF leaders, this is just the beginning. In the present budgetary reality,
painful decisions will have to be made even within the army, regarding its
priorities. It is impossible to afford everything on the list: the Stealth,
the updated Merkava Mark IV (armored personnel carrier for the Merkava, a
tank), as well as a new torpedo boat.
During his stay in Israel, O'Bryan delivered a speech at a convention of the
Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies. He explained the
revolution that the Stealth will cause [in Israel], in both functional and
operational terms,out of his keen acquaintanceship with the Israeli air
force. “You have one of the most advanced air forces in the world,” he
noted. “When the F-35 airplanes arrive to join your fleet, you will reach
another level altogether. The new plane will add much power and strength [to
the air force] and allow even better confrontation with challenges.” The
advantages listed by O'Bryan stem from the plane’s characteristics: it can
fly under all weather conditions, day and night; it has higher
maneuverability; and, perhaps most important of all, it can fly without
being revealed by radar or the most sensitive, advanced instruments
possessed by the countries around us.
Name and Number
Recently, Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz delivered a survey speech to
the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. Interspersed in his
reports about Iran and Syria, Gantz also made an unusual statement, the kind
never heard officially in the past from a high-placed IDF officer. “I have
no doubt that we will need at least 2 squadrons for the F-35s,” he said.
Thus he admitted that although the transaction included the new fighter
plane, one squadron would ultimately not suffice. Thus, according to the
Chief of Staff, the topic must be raised again at the next multi-year
budgetary program called the Oz Plan, to double the quantities involved.
At the Committee, Gantz also admitted that the IDF will be forced to cope
with new challenges before the Stealth planes are delivered. Nevertheless,
long-term planning mandates the acquisition of the fighter planes. One
example of an unforeseen regional change and challenge is the recent rise of
Moslem Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi to presidency over Egypt. Egypt
maintains an advanced western army, including an advanced air force with
more than 450 fighter planes (200 of them are F-16s). Although no one is
currently planning a war against Egypt, the Egyptian change in the regional
alignment is enough to demonstrate the uncertainty that reigns in our
neighborhood—and that is without even bringing up Iran.
For the Israel air force, the arrival of the F-35 is a very big deal, more
significant than any other acquisition in the past. It was already decided
that the fifth-generation Stealth squadron will be constructed in the
Nevatim base. At this point, air force equipment is being re-examined (by
the equipment group of the Air force and other professional agents) and the
flight runways are being re-examined in order to adapt them to the new
planes. The IDF is even considering creating new specifications for the
underground Hardened Aircraft Shelters [HAS] where the planes are parked
when not in the air. Due to the different shape of the Stealth, it will have
to be ‘parked’ in custom-designed underground shelters that are different
than the ones that currently house fighter planes.
Due to the political changes in the Middle East — the Arab Spring that
turned everything upside down — IDF top brass feel that the Stealth is
advantageous not only for deterrence purposes. In fact, many believe that
the reason for acquisition of Stealths is to achieve real air superiority.
“While it is true that Syria has internal problems, it simultaneously is
engaged in unprecedented investments in anti-aircraft systems,” says a
top-echelon military officer. “Therefore, we cannot afford to rest on our
Although the first planes will only arrive in about five years, the air
force is already planning to acquire a new simulator to train the pilots in
the use of the advanced aircraft. As part of the preparations for the
planes, decisions will have to be made about the number of squadrons. Hence
an event that may appear to be simple, really involves many internal
struggles involving even former air-force officers. No less important is the
new name of the aircraft. Like its brother in the air force family, the new
F-35 Stealth will also receive a resoundingly Israeli name.
Quite a few defense industries in Israel are benefiting from the development
of the new fighter plane, since they are involved in production of some of
its components. Israel Aerospace Industries is in charge of producing
wing-parts; Elbit — helmet-mounted display systems and airframe parts.
“While Israel is not a direct associate of the project, it is a very
important partner nonetheless,” analyzes O’Brien, “Israel is making a big
contribution to the entire plan.”