'Israel' officially requests 25 more F-35s from US
The Israeli occupation Security Ministry says after the deal, the number of F-35 jets belonging to the Israeli occupation forces will rise to 75.
The Israeli occupation Security Ministry confirmed on Sunday that it formally requested to purchase 25 more Lockheed-made F-35 fighter jets from the United States, which will form a third squadron of the aircraft in the Israeli occupation Air Force.
In a statement, the Israeli Ministry said it has launched the process of procuring a third squadron of F-35 aircraft.
It added that following the approval of the deal by Israeli Security Minister Yoav Gallant and Security Ministry Director General Eyal Zamir, its procurement department sent a formal request to the F-35 Joint Program Office in the US with a view to finalizing the approval and signing the deal in the coming months.
The statement highlighted that after the deal, which includes support and maintenance, the number of F-35 jets belonging to the Israeli occupation forces will rise to 75.
According to the statement, aircraft deliveries to the Israeli occupation will begin in 2027 at a rate of three aircraft per year.
The Israeli occupation Security Ministry estimated the deal to be worth about $3 billion, with financing provided by US aid funds.
This comes as thousands of Israeli occupation reservists, including fighter pilots, have withdrawn from service in protest against the judicial overhaul that the government of Israeli occupation Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seeks to approve that would limit the powers of the Israeli Supreme Court.
The reservists have said unequivocally they will resume volunteer duty only if Netanyahu suspends the judicial overhaul.
Senior IOF officers, particularly Israeli Air Force commander Major General Tomer Bar, have warned of a progressive deterioration in their preparation for war since then.
It is noteworthy that the Israeli occupation Air Force relies on reserve fighter pilots, and the current scenario poses an almost immediate crisis of readiness.
According to Axios' Israeli correspondent Barak Ravid, Israeli occupation reserve pilots undergo training at least one time per week to keep their operational abilities sharp and pilots who have not trained for several weeks are not permitted to fly.