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In lieu of new rocket threats on air bases, the ISAF changes to a new F-35 variant

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posted on Mar, 17 2008 @ 11:38 AM
The Israeli Air Force has come under pressure to modify its' order of F-35A strike fighter aircraft from the United States, slanted for a 2012 delivery (or sooner), to newer F-35B "hover jet" variant aircraft which are still under testing as new threats emerge to Israeli air bases in the north and south of the country.

With the recent procurement and demonstration of new rocket capabilities by both Hezbollah and Hamas, along with increasing threats from Hezbollah and active bombardments from Hamas, the safety of Israeli aircraft and their ability to take off and land has been severely compromised by the range of these munitions held by enemy terrorist hands. Debka file reports that Hezbollah will not be satisfied by simply hitting Israeli cities in the next go-around, and has plans to target Israeli air fields to limit the air superiority factor in the next conflict. Israel plans to counter this by modifying their purchase to the newer, still under testing, F-35B.

Here is a picture of an F-35, second only to an F-22 raptor in air-to-air combat, and capable of stealth technology:

From debkafile:

"The expanding Palestinian and Lebanese Hizballah’s missile threats to its southern and northern air bases have persuaded Israeli’s Air Force to consider switching its procurement plans from 100 US F-35A stealth jets to the F-35B Short Takeoff and Vertical Landing (STOVL) version, designed to serve the US Marine Corps under fire.

Israel’s southern and northern air bases have come within range of rockets from Hizballah in Lebanon and Hamas from the Gaza Strip, respectively, and possibly from the West Bank too. Air landings and takeoffs have therefore become hazardous. Israeli air bases and installations have been fortified against Palestinian rocket attack from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

“Air base survivability is no longer hypothetical,” said one retired air force general.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that IAF chiefs reckon that in any future flare-ups, the Palestinians will not be satisfied with hitting Sderot and Ashkelon but will go for its main air bases as well. "


"DEBKAfile’s military sources add that the government continues to lag behind Israel’s perceived security needs. The new Lockheed Martin planes will not be available in time for the confrontations widely predicted to erupt over the next two or three years. The rockets already in Hizballah and Hamas hands - not to mention Iran and Syria - may be able to prevent some Israeli warplanes from taking off from vulnerable runways."

It's interesting how everyone doesn't even question the notion that there will indeed be another war with Hezbollah, and this time possibly with Syria, Iran, and Hamas all involved as well. I fear for Israel; her Prime Minister seems incompetent in the ways of warfare.

posted on Mar, 17 2008 @ 06:14 PM
Well, I would postulate that the USAF is looking for a new partner in the VTOL F-35 market to offset some costs, and that the lobbying is more to do with money that practical concerns.


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