Dec 16

Written by: Dr. Ernie Moore
Friday, December 16, 2016  RssIcon

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Facebook has been filled with photos and video of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu beside an Israeli Air Force officer as they apply an Israel Star to the fuselage of a shiny new F-35 fighter. Two of fifty destined for Israel arrived this week, just before Bibi went to visit Azerbaijan.

It won’t hurt his creds any that he now has two jets capable of sneaking into Iran should the need arrive. Of course there will be weeks of training for the crews, technicians, etc. before the stealth fighters go on the flight line, but suffice it to say that there has to be some real concern in Iran.

Add to their worries the fact that there’s a new sheriff about to take over in the United States. One who doesn’t base his legacy on photo ops and hashmarks. With warrior generals in the Defense Department and Homeland Security, things just aren’t as smooth for the mullahs as they used to be.

Trump is already working on the “art of the deal” as he has announced that the fighters are costing the US too much – the same thing he said to Boeing about the new Air Force Ones.

Before you get too crazy about the comments, remember that this is a man who knows how to negotiate business deals. You begin just exactly as one does in the shuq – you decry the cost of whatever you want to purchase. That begins the conversation. Then you get down to the bargaining, eventually reaching a point where both the seller and the buyer feels that they got the best deal.

But, back to the F-35. There are some things that you might not know about the plane, and we have some details on that:

It’s the costliest plane ever built by Lockheed Martin. They are costing Israel about $110 million each. There are numbers all over the place, but so far it looks like Israel will be buying between 35 and 50 of the planes.

And yes, here’s how that works. The US gives Israel somewhere around $4B in foreign aid. Those dollars then come back to the US in arms deals and for other materials.

No other nation has the jets, or even so far has a deal on getting them.

As in the Egyptian jet deal of F-16s and F-18s a few years ago, the planes will lack some of the software and bells and whistles that US military jets will have, but Israel is no slacker when it comes to these things and will be installing their own super-secret technology into the cockpits.

As with most things military, it gets a name. In this case “Adir” which means ‘mighty’ in Hebrew.

There are three models, the A, B and Cs. A is for standard land take-off and landing, while the B and C will work on aircraft carriers. The Israeli version is understandably, the F-35I.

And its sneaky. The Mach 1.6 (1200 MPH) jet is fully stealth capable, and can carry 9 tons of armaments, unless it is in full stealth mode, in which case that is reduced due to the necessity of not having some things hanging off the outside.

For those of you in Buck Rogers mode, the super high tech helmet costs about $400,000 each. It has its own separate operating system that prints info on the visor ! - and sends it elsewhere. Thermal and night vision and a – get this! – a 360 degree view sent from cameras mounted around the jet.

Someone once said that it is not the message alone, but who delivers the message that matters. In this case, Israel is sending a message that having half a hundred stealth fighters like these should make Iran take note.

And not only Iran. What with ISIS trying to move closer to the Israel and Jordan northern borders, there can be a world of hurt on them if they decide to attack either country. I remind you that Israel would quickly come to the aid of its eastern neighbor if called on.

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