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Israel returns to U.S. combat plane project
Date: Monday, November 07 2005
Topic:


Israel returns to U.S. combat plane project

11/5/2005 9:00:00 PM GMT

Mofaz: "We will meet obligations"

Itís been reported that Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and his American counterpart Donald Rumsfeld agreed Friday to resume Israel's participation in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program.

Citing sources in Washington, Haaretz reported Saturday that the freeze would be lifted immediately.

"All the controversial issues have been removed. Israel continues to take part in the project as an evaluated participant, and the U.S. has repeated its commitment to sell the aircraft to Israel," Mofaz said.


Asked about Israel's commitments to Washington, Mofaz affirmed that "We will meet them. Some of them are linked to the tightening of supervision on the technological-defense export and some to the reorganization of the different systems."

The F-35 is slated to replace the F-16 fighter jet, which served as the primary combat airplane in the Israeli air force during the past 25 years.

The U.S.-based Lockheed Martin Corporation develops the F-35 in collaboration with Britain, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Turkey, Holland, Italy and Australia.

The U.S. banned Israel's participation in the project as a result of Israel's security deals with China.

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