Debkafile says the pentagon has approved the sale of 25 of the highly sophisticated F-35 Lightning II with the option of 50 more. The deal is also
supposedly going to include the Helmet-mounted display and a number of the Short-Take-Off Vertical Lift (STOVL) version of the aircraft in a deal
worth a little over 15 billion. I think this is a response to Russia's decision to deploy S-300 surface to air missile batteries in Iran. Also, this
may be a condolences package from Bush before he leaves office to reassure Israel in the wake of Bush's denial for a request from Israel for a green
light to bomb Iran last spring. Any other thoughts?
I'd like to see this somewhere OTHER than debkafile first before I start to speculate why they agreed to the sale. Debka isn't the
most......reliable source out there. Not quite Sorcha Faal, but not exactly someone that I'd trust completely either.
And although the article quotes Debka, it is well known by now the IAF is trying to find a replacement for their aging F-15Is and F-16Is. The F-35 was
chosen as a cost-effective alternative to the pricey F-22, and can be delivered in multiple versions. The F-35 is sure to rule with impunity over the
skies of Tehran.
They haven't approved anything. Israel has REQUESTED 75 of them, and the DSCA has said that initial sale would be for 25, with the option to buy
another 50. The deal still has to go through the FMS office, as well as Congress for approval.
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