Israel ready to sign warplane deal


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The United States and Israel are close to agreement on a deal for a new warplane.

Israel’s purchase of 19 Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35 fighter jets would mark the first foreign military sale of the new military jet, Reuters reported Tuesday. The deal is reportedly worth $3 billion. 

Eight international partners that helped develop the plane already have signed purchase agreements. The eight countries are Canada, Turkey, Britain, Italy, Norway, Denmark, Australia and the Netherlands.

The deal between Israel and the United States has been in the works since September 2008, when the Pentagon approved the sale of 25 of the fighter jets with an option for 50 more.

Israel had been concerned initially that it would not be permitted access to some technologies of the aircraft.

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