US is preparing to sell F-35 fighters to UAE, Israel doesn’t give its consent
TEL AVIV, (BM) – Israeli Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen said today, August 18, that he is unaware of a change in the traditional policy of the Jewish state against the United States’ sale of modern weapons to Arab countries, which could thereby weaken Israel’s military superiority in the region, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
Minister Cohen’s remarks followed a publication in the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot, which indicated that the United States was planning a “gigantic” sale of fifth generation F-35 fighters and strike drones to the United Arab Emirate, following the country’s agreement with Israel last week to normalize bilateral relationships.
The US Embassy in Jerusalem has not yet commented on reports in the Israeli media.
In accordance with agreements in place for decades, Washington refrained from selling weapons to the Middle East, which could weaken Israel’s “quality military advantage”, Reuters noted on Tuesday.
Israel remains the only foreign operator of the latest American-made F-35 multirole fighters.
“I don’t know of any changes in the position and policy of the State of Israel,” Cohen told the public broadcaster Kan. “I tell you that Israel did not give its consent to change the current agreement [with the US].”
As BulgarianMilitary.com reported, the agreement concluded between Israel and the UAE through the mediation of the United States established diplomatic relations between them, involves the launch of direct flights and cooperation between the two countries in the economic, tourism, scientific and even defense spheres.
The Emirati authorities called the deal with the Jewish state a success for the entire Arab world, since the Israeli side pledged to suspend its plans to annex part of the Palestinian territories in the West Bank. In the coming weeks, the delegations of Israel and the United Arab Emirates must formalize the agreement in writing.
The F-35 is increasingly active in the Middle East
As we reported on August 6 the American and Israeli F-35 pilots conducted joint exercises for the second time in the use of the latest fifth generation aircraft.
The cooperation in the air included the cooperation of the F-35 itself, but also cooperation with, for example, flying tankers and machines intended for airspace control.
The fifth generation F-35 aircraft have their time over the Middle East, and recently numerous exercises with the participation of these machines have been conducted in the area of responsibility of the US Central Command [US CENTCOM].
The latter exercises were intended to collect intelligence and support airspace command and control. The Americans launched the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing’s 421st Fighter Squadron F-35A Lightning II aircraft, supplemented by the KC-10 Extender flying tankers belonging to the 908th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron.
American and Israeli pilots practiced a number of different scenarios covering the key capabilities of the F-35, including aerial refueling. Both sides played their abilities in the area of command and control with the forces operating in the air. The exercises were carried out on August 2 in regions above the southern part of Israel.
F-35 update news
As we reported on July 27 Lockheed Martin has published the F-35 Lightning II fighter upgrade program until 2030. The version will be called Block 4 and will be updated gradually – mainly due to delays in the development of the necessary software.
The aircraft will need a lot of programs, since one of the key changes will be the 25 times increased computing capabilities of the F-35 on-board computers. This is due to the processing of information from a much larger number of active and passive aircraft sensors.
The 2030 fighter will be able to carry in the fuselage compartment not four AIM-120 air-to-air missiles, as it is now, but six thanks to the new Sidekick launch system.
The aircraft’s arsenal will be replenished with AIM-260 missiles with an increased flight range and a specialized missile for destroying radars. They all have the same length as the AIM-120.
Another reason why Lightning II needed much more powerful computers is unmanned slaves with artificial intelligence. They, of course, are also not without electronic brains, but the fighter’s computer will develop general tactics and control their actions. The drones are planned to be used for both striking and defense. For example, they will distract missiles aimed at the F-35.
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