10:54 GMT +325 March 2017

    Israeli Companies Accrued $1 Billion From F-35 Deals

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    Israeli defense contractors have generated more than $1 billion in revenues since 2010 for assisting with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, the most expensive weapons program in history.

    The Israeli Defense Ministry reported Sunday that 2016 was a banner year for F-35 partners. Contracts tied to production of the F-35 shot up 33 percent last year for a total of $258 million in new deals for Israeli companies. Since Israel inked a deal to buy 19 F-35 fighters in 2010, Israeli firms have won more than $1 billion in ‘buy-back contracts.’

    "The scope of industrial cooperation between [Lockheed Martin] and Israeli industry, in just the last year, shows the immense potential inherent in this arrangement for the Israeli economy," Col. Avi Dadon, deputy director of purchasing at the Ministry of Defense, noted.

    A bulk of the new revenues stemmed from the F-35 virtual reality helmets. Elbit Systems and Rockwell Collins scored a $206 million contract for headgear production. 

    Like the F-35 project as a whole, the F-35 helmets have faced their share of struggles. The 4.5-pound helmets are reported to cause neck problems for pilots. What’s more, the visor has been seen to pop off the heads of pilots during take-off. Since the helmets are critical for pilots to visualize flight, mission, and target information, this essentially leaves pilots blind. In a separate incident, Tom Briggs of the US Navy described the helmets as being comparable to "looking through a dirty window" due to a green glow in the display area. 

    Meanwhile, Italian officials have complained recently that Lockheed Martin and the US are not following through on jet maintenance contracts. Guido Crosetto, head of Italy’s aerospace and defense industry association said Washington has not "honored promises" made when Italy joined the list of US allies to buy the F-35s. 

    Back in 2002, Italy was told that it would receive contracts for maintenance work worth 65 percent of the $1 billion Rome invested to buy 90 joint strike fighters, Italian media outlets reported. Italian firms currently have contracts valued less than 20 percent of its initial investment, the official added. Instead, contracts went to places like the UK, the Netherlands and Australia "because the competition favored large companies," Crosetto said.


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    deals, F-35 II Joint Strike Fighter Program, Lockheed Martin, Guido Crosetto, Avi Dadon, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Israel
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    • siberianhusky
      Are we supposed to be surprised about this. Same goes for the failed promises made for contract revenues as far as I have read that despite made promises for each participant they still are up against each other for lowest bidder wins. Just ask Denmark and the Australians how they got screwed
    • avatar
      agreed, not surprising at all.
    • avatar
      Sounds to me like doing business with the USA as usual.
    • avatar
      Although is was fixed and does its job now . How is the Russian R-39 Bark SLBM oh yeah couldn't be made to stay in one piece.cancelled. Then Russia's most expensive project bulava SLBM is it working or still blowing into pieces? It only failed 8 out 12 times. Meaning 20 tubes 6-7 might hit the targets the other 13-14 would spiral off into the sea. Said will be used when 98-99% reliable. New missile has accuracy of 350CEP meters. The older 100% US Tridents 90meter CEP. Why pick on a plane that was new and is now fixed . The new Soviet fighters will laugh and then realize the missile launch warning going off as failed crippled F-35 aircraft wasn't a joke . Why no story on Russia R-39 Bark SLBM is it coming back? As it was like bottle rocket hey those would make 4th of July fun huh. Maybe if ever a war the super Bulava missile would be reliable as 1 out of 3 would probably work desent or make it close to the target within 350 m ,as the Trident can hit all the targets within 90 m. Let's not trash something that is fixed now let's here about these missiles no one speaks about. Hey 1 known hit out 3 is better than o hits
    • NATOisEVIL
      The project is a big scam to milk taxpayers of their money to enrich the war industry.
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