As part of plans to retain the qualitative edge of Israeli military, the US may make F-35 jets it plans to sell to the UAE, visible to Israeli radar systems.
Amidst reports that the US and the UAE have advanced on the procurement of F-35 jets for the Gulf Nation which has recently made peace with Israel, Washington is considering degrading the stealth features of the F-35 jets proposed for the UAE’s as a way of maintaining Israel’s qualitative edge, Reuters reported today.
Israel has 24 F-35 jets currently. Defense Minister Benny Gantz is scheduled to meet his U.S. counterpart Mark Esper in Washington on Tuesday.
A letter of agreement could be in place in time for UAE National Day celebrated on December 2. Once signed, a fine may be levied against any party that terminates the deal.
Israel has been actively lobbying against the United States selling F-35 stealth jets to the U.A.E. will continue despite the Israel-U.A.E. peace deal which was hammered out recently. The parties have now worked out a way – Israeli air defenses will be able to detect UAE F-35 jets. Also, these jets could be built in a way that Israeli ones would still be superior.
Several sources who had been previously involved in contacts between the two countries had raised concerns that as part of the new understandings, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may abandon Israel’s vehement opposition to the sale of sensitive military equipment and technology to the UAE, particularly the F-35.