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The first two F-35s expected to land in Israel next week will be the first 5th Generation jet fighters the U.S. hands out to a foreign ally. The two ADIR Jets are only the beginning. Over the next eight years, Israel will receive 50 aircraft forming two full ADIR squadrons flying the F-35. The unique capabilities of the new fighter will provide the Israel Air Force a game-changing platform that has not been seen in the region since the introduction of the F-15 Eagle (by the IAF), 40 years ago.
Boeing has recently released images depicting weapon configurations developed for the F-15, that are likely to support the F-15SA, the most advanced variant of the F-15E fighter aircraft for the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF). The aircraft depicted in these photos carry 26 weapons of six different types.
A multi-billion arms deal offered by the US to key Middle-East allies bundles advanced fighter planes, strike weapons, radars and special mission aircraft, sold separately to Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Convinces the UAE to increase the number of their Desert Falcons, instead of buying Rafale or Typhoons could derail European sales efforts in the region. Likewise, offerring radars and surplus USAF tankers to Israel would hurt Israeli efforts to soffer its own tankers, converted from commercial aircraft.
Updated: October 21, 2010: The U.S. and Saudi Arabia have finalized an arms package that shadows even the large arms mega-sales in the region....