Israel buys 20 stealth bombers from US

Israel has inked a deal with the US to buy 20 fighter jets for $2.75 bn.

New York/Tel Aviv: Israel has inked a deal with the US to buy 20 fighter jets for $2.75 billion, a media report said Friday.

The F-35 stealth fighters, made by Lockheed Martin Corp, are scheduled for delivery between 2015 and 2017, Ehud Shani, director general of the Israeli Ministry of Defence, was quoted as saying by Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

The contract signed Thursday in New York by Shani and the US suppliers also provides an option for 75 more of the planes in future.
The move came amid ongoing tensions in the Middle East, including over Iran`s nuclear programme, believed by the international community to be aimed at producing nuclear weapons, a claim Tehran denies.

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter, is reported to have advanced stealth technology allowing it to get past most detection and defence systems.
Shani was quoted as describing the deal as "an historic event and a new era in Israel`s military might in the face of challenges both near and far".

The Haaretz report said his comments could have referred to a potential strike of Iran`s nuclear facilities.