Israel’s keeping up with the times in having one of the most powerful Air forces on earth
The general staff of the Israeli defence forces will soon decide how many F-35s will be purchased and establish a preferred delivery schedule. “We want this aircraft as soon as possible,” says a senior air force source.Other sources say Israel plans to sign a letter of agreement in 2009, with deliveries to start in late 2013 or 2014. Its initial order is expected to be for 25 aircraft, plus 25 options. However, with the Israeli-configured aircraft likely to have a higher price tag, the issue will be evaluated before a production contract is signed in 2010.
If your wondering what the difference between the new F-35 and the F-22 Raptor are:
The two aircraft are indeed difficult to tell apart, because they share similar wing and tail designs, as well as distinctive engine inlets beneath the cockpit. The differences are in capabilities, performance and materials. The F-22 Raptor, designed for the United States Air Force, is a twin-engine fighter intended primarily for air-to-air combat but also capable of attacking ground targets. It will be the stealthiest aircraft ever; thanks to new low-radar-observable designs and materials, engineers were able to lose the all-black, oddly shaped configurations of the F-117 Stealth Fighter and B-2 Bomber in favor of a more conventional design.
The Raptor, which should enter service in 2005, also features supercruise, the ability to sustain supersonic flight without the use of fuel-gulping afterburners.
The Joint Strike Fighter (F-35), meanwhile, is being developed in three different versions — for the Air Force, Navy and Marines. Expected to debut in 2009, it’s a single-engine aircraft that is optimized for ground attack. (The Marine Corps’ version will have vertical-lift capability, so it will be able to take off and land in extremely tight spaces.)
Another key difference: cost. The Joint Strike Fighter has a $35 million price tag, while the faster, stealthier Raptor will set the Air Force back $120 million apiece. In combat, though, the two won’t be so far apart. Future scenarios envision them working in tandem: The Raptor will knock down the door — taking out air defenses and radar sites — and then the Joint Strike Fighter will launch strikes against ground targets.