WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US government will provide F-35 fighter jets to Israel next year to the country a strategic advantage over its rivals in the Middle East, US Vice President Joe Biden said during a speech celebrating Israeli independence.
“Next year we will deliver to Israel the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter… making Israel the only country in the Middle East with a fifth-generation aircraft,” Biden said on Thursday.
No US president has done more to support Israel than US President Barack Obama, Biden said, evidenced by the fact the Obama administration has provided Israel with $20 billion in military assistance.
The F-35 is a single-seat, single-engine strike fighter with stealth technology meant to be the US military’s premier multi-use fighter aircraft.
In February 2015, Israel signed a contract with the United States for the purchase of 14 F-35 fighter jets, amounting to $3 billion, according to Israel’s Defense Ministry.
Previous media reports alleged that Israel had ordered at least 25 F-35 aircraft in response to Russia signing contracts on delivery of S-300 air defense systems to Iran and Syria.