Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak approved an order for 20 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in a deal valued at around $2.75 billion, according to Haaretz. The Israeli Air Force expects to take delivery of the first aircraft in 2015. The article quotes Barak saying the F-35 costs $96 million a copy. The entire deal will be funded by American military aid.
The F-35 deal had dragged for more than two years as the IAF wanted access to the plane’s hardware and software; they also wanted to install Israeli electronic warfare and configure it to carry Israeli-made missiles. The JSF program folks said no, that the deal was a “closed package.”