U.S. Sells Israel 50 Combat Planes

 (September 1999)

Israel has signed a deal with the United States to purchase 50 advanced two-seater F-16I fighter planes at a cost of $2.46 billion, HA'ARETZ reported September 16, 1999. Under the terms of the agreement, Israel has the option to purchase 60 additional F-16Is at the same price.

The advanced model of the warplane, which is manufactured by Lockheed Martin, contains systems that were developed by Israel's military industries. These include avionics systems, an electronic warfare system developed by Elisra, missiles and sensors manufactured by Raphael (Israel's armament development authority), detachable fuel tanks manufactured by Israel Military Industries and other Israeli-developed systems.

Israel will begin to receive the aircraft at the beginning of 2003, and the last planes will be supplied two years later. The option to purchase 60 more aircraft will be available until September 2001. If the government and the Air Force decide to exercise the option, delivery of the extra planes will continue until 2008.

Israel also signed an agreement with Pratt & Whitney for the purchase of engines for the F-16Is. Competition between Pratt & Whitney and General Electric had the effect of reducing the price of the engines by 25 percent.

Source: Israeli Government Press Office