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Lockheed Martin: First F-35s Will Arrive In Israel In December

Israel Hayom // April 06, 2016

Lockheed official, Israel Air Force Chief of Staff Brig. Gen. Tal Kalman dispel rumors about delays, snags in development of cutting-edge F-35 fighter jet. Kalman calls F-35 "better and cheaper" than other aircraft currently on the market.

Development of the advanced F-35 fighter jet is moving along as expected and Israel "has our commitment" that the first F-35s it ordered will arrive this December, Lockheed Martin Vice President Gen. (ret.) Gary North said Sunday at a Tel Aviv national security conference organized by the Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies and Israel Defense.

North spoke in response to reports that development of the F-35 was hitting snags.

"The plane is still in the experimental state in the U.S.," North said. "More than 170 planes are distributed among 10 bases. Lockheed Martin has accompanied the Israeli Air Force since the foundation of the state. The F-35 will be integrated into the air force's operational parameters, which will redefine the battlefield. Your neighborhood is not easy, and it will get tougher as the years go by. In light of that, strength leads to calm. When you're strong, you send a clear message to your enemies."

Chief of Staff of the Israeli Air Force Brig. Gen. Tal Kalman also spoke at the conference, and also touched on the claims that development on the F-35 was experiencing difficulties.

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