Israel’s defence minister said on Monday that he wants the country to buy a third squadron of stealth F-35 warplanes from the United States, and that he hoped a deal could be clinched before President Donald Trump steps down on Jan. 20.
Israel has been in talks with Washington on how to preserve its military advantage after the Trump administration approved a possible F-35 sale to the United Arab Emirates last year. The plane was previously available only to Israel in the region.
“Without doubt, we need to expand the F-35 array. Right now we have two squadrons. I reckon we will expand that. That is what I requested of the Americans,” Defence Minister Benny Gantz told Ynet TV.
“I would buy another F-35 squadron and then examine what to do with the balance – continuing to expand the F-35 (procurement), going for F-15s?”