Israeli F-35 purchase decision imminent (2)

21:51, July 21, 2010      

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"The F-35 Lightning II, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), integrates advanced very low observable stealth into a supersonic, highly agile fifth generation fighter," reads Lockheed 's sales material.

"The capabilities built into the F-35 Lightning II provide the pilot with unprecedented situational awareness and unmatched lethality and survivability," it continues.

That description is largely supported by Tad Oelstrom, the director of the National Security Program and Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. A three-star general, Oelstrom has well over 4,000 hours of flying time under his belt.

"It brings new technology, it brings long life, it brings modernization and any country that is invested in that form of either defense or offense, depending on how you choose to use the system, it certainly would bring the advantages that come with the avionics or the modernization that comes along with the rest of the aircraft," Oelstrom told Xinhua.

While it does have limitations, the F-35 is an aircraft the Israeli air force is "extremely eager" to acquire, the defense correspondent of Israel's Channel 10 television, Alon Ben-David, said on Wednesday.

"Despite the stealth that the aircraft provides and some of the other very advanced features that the aircraft provides, this aircraft is quite limited in its payload capability. It doesn't have a very large capacity for munitions," said Ben-David.

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