Israeli F-35 buy-back surpasses $1 billion
By: Barbara Opall-Rome, February 12, 2017
TEL AVIV – Israel’s Defense Ministry announced Sunday that completed
industrial cooperation or buy-back contracts with Lockheed Martin on the
F-35 program surpassed the $1 billion benchmark since Israel signed its
first contract in 2010 for an initial 19 fighters.
According to Avi Dadon, MoD’s deputy director of purchasing, Israeli firms
entered into $258 million worth of new contracts during 2016, a 33 percent
surge from the previous year.
“The scope of industrial cooperation between [Lockheed Martin] and Israeli
industries, just in the past year, illustrates the big, raw potential of
this deal to the Israeli economy,” Dadon said.
Key Israeli suppliers to Lockheed Martin for the year that just closed
include Elbit Systems, which together with Rockwell Collins expanded their
production contract for sensor-fuzed helmets by $206 million; and Israel
Aerospace Industries, which received a $26 million follow-on contract for
Two other Elbit subsidiaries – Cyclone and Tadiran – also scored orders
exceeding $20 million last year for structural components and radio
Dadon noted that several Lockheed Martin contracts were extended to small
firms in northern Israel to support industries near the “line of
confrontation” along the border with Lebanon.
He said the Ministry aimed to work in the coming year “to further deepen”
industrial cooperation associated with Israel’s F-35 program.
Israel is now negotiating its third contract for another 17 F-35A fighters,
which will bring the Israel Air Force’s inventory to 50.
In an interview late last year, Jack Crisler, Lockheed Martin’s vice
president for F-35 business development, said Israeli technology was
benefiting not only those planes destined for the Israel Air Force, but in
many cases, all partner and customer nations of the fifth-generation