Pentagon approves sale of F-35 fighter jets to Israel

The US Department of Defense has approved the sale of 25 F-35 stealth-enabled Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) to the Israeli Air Force (IAF), Israel Radio reported Tuesday evening.

According to the report, the deal is valued at $15.2 billion and includes an option to buy 50 additional bombers in the coming years. Each plane is estimated to cost between $70 million and $80m and will be equipped with F-135 or F-136 engines by the IAF.

The report quoted a Pentagon official saying that the sale of the stealth jets to Israel was essential to American national interests and was meant to ensure that Israel maintained its qualitative edge over armies of neighboring countries.

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