Israel’s Defense Ministry has officially signed an agreement with the United States to procure a third squadron of F-35 fighter jets.

The ministry announced that a delegation to the US recently signed a letter of agreement (LOA) for 25 stealth fighters manufactured by Lockheed Martin.

The delivery of the aircraft will commence in 2028, with batches of three to five jets per year, according to the ministry. This addition will increase the Israeli Air Force’s F-35i fleet to 75 in the coming years. To date, only 36 of the initially ordered 50 F-35s have been delivered to Israel.

The deal, valued at approximately $3 billion, will be financed through US military aid to Israel, as stated by the ministry.

The signing follows a largely resolved dispute between Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Finance Minister Betzalel Smotrich regarding the procurement. Smotrich had previously vetoed the signing until a Knesset committee, assigned to review the defense budget, was convened.

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