Israel Weighs Purchase of Special Aircraft to Maintain Edge Over Iran Proxy Hezbollah
Israel is weighing the purchase of a fleet of vertical-landing aircraft, to maintain its edge over Hezbollah, the Israeli news site Walla reported on Sunday.
The planes under consideration are Lockheed Martin’s Short Takeoff, Vertical Landing (STOVL) F-35Bs.
Unlike other variants of the F-35 Lightning II, the F-35B — originally designed to replace the United States Marine Corps’ Harrier Jets — does not require a long strip of runway for take-off, and can land vertically, like a helicopter.
The F-35B would enable Israeli pilots to continue carrying out missions, even if their air bases and landing strips are targeted and put out of commission. With terrorist organization Hezbollah’s continued acquisition of advanced, highly accurate, long-range missiles from Iran, this is increasingly becoming a realistic threat, according to Walla.