As his tenure as Defense Secretary comes to a close, Ash Carter was in Israel last week, underscoring the increasing strength of the United States-Israel relationship.
Since Israel’s founding, the United States has maintained an unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security. The deep bond between the two countries dates back decades and has spanned collaboration on joint exercises, technology transfers, a tiered missile defense system that includes the Iron Dome and Arrow, research and development of tunnel detection and mapping technologies, and development of new technologies for GPS-guided weapons. Combined, these efforts total more than $120 billion in bilateral assistance, and underscore the unparalleled U.S. commitment to Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge in the region.
F-35 comes to Israel
Carter’s trip to Israel marks another milestone in the U.S. commitment to Israel’s security by making available the most current technology. During his visit, Carter attended the arrival ceremony for Israel’s first two F-35 Lightning II fighter jets from the United States. Israel will be the first U.S. partner in the region and the only one in the Middle East with the fifth-generation F-35 aircraft. Over the next several years, Israel has requested to receive up to fifty fighter jets, modernizing their air fleet with this single-seat, single-engine fighter aircraft that can execute a variety of missions ranging from intelligence, surveillance and electronic attack missions.
The U.S. Air Force worked with Israel’s air force to provide training in F-35 simulators and to familiarize their maintainers with the aircraft ahead of its arrival at Israel’s Nevatim Air Base, ensuring a smooth transfer of aircraft to the Israeli air force.
In September, Israel and the United States concluded a new ten-year Memorandum of Understanding, where the United States pledged $38 billion in security assistance. This MOU will ensure Israel has continued access to the most advanced technology and that Israel’s military edge remains paramount in the region. Together, the United States and Israel continue to develop, coordinate and collaborate together on an impressive array of security and defense capabilities, challenges and opportunities. This F-35 delivery is just one piece in a strong and critical defense relationship for the United States.
Yolanda R. Arrington
Defense Media Activity