Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak has approved the purchase of an F-35 joint strike fighter (JSF) from the US for the country’s air force.

“The F-35 will provide Israel with continued air superiority and help retain its qualitative military edge in the region,” he said.

“The plane will provide the air force with improved capabilities for ensuring Israel’s security when operating near and far away.”

A fifth-generation stealth fighter, the F-35 will be able to evade all radars and anti-aircraft missile systems, according to the Jerusalem Post.

In the first batch, Israel will buy 20 JSFs, with a configuration similar to that used by the US Air Force, for an estimated $2.75bn.

The second batch, to arrive in the second half of the decade, will be designed according to Israeli specifications and include locally designed and manufactured systems.

Under the deal with the US, Israel will start receiving the JSFs, simulators, spare parts and routine maintenance support in 2015.