Israel is to decide if the Israeli Air Force will acquire new F-35 joint strike fighter (JSF) jets, during a meeting between Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak and defence procurement officials this week.

Israel is considering buying an initial batch of 20 JSFs, which will be configured with minor changes, similar to those operated by the US Air Force, and will arrive in Israel by the end of 2015.

The second batch of aircraft designed according to Israeli specifications and equipped with Israeli-made systems will arrive in the second half of the decade.

Israel’s JSF plan was delayed due to the $140m cost of each aircraft and the US opposition to the integration of Israeli systems into the planes.

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