uching down in Israel, the first country after the US to receive an American built F-35 stealth jet increasing Israel's ability to attack distant targets including Iran. Speaking at a ceremony alongside US Defense Secretary Ash Carter, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the delivery makes them mightier.
50 F-35s will eventually arrive in Israel costing around $100 million each. Their much hyped arrival overshadowed by President-elect Donald Trump tweeting that Lockheed Martin's whole project was too expensive. Back in Israel, the jet's delivery was also delayed for hours by bad weather. Reuters' Orry Lewis camped out all day to see the first jets arrive.
>> Funding of these planes was obviously an issue because they're so expensive. And it had to be worked out with the Americans, because it was clear that having to pay so much money over a long period for these aircraft. Was going to tax Israels ability to be able to maintain the rest of its military, the rest of the upgrades that it would need for its Army, Navy and Air Force.
>> Those details ironed out when Israel finalized a ten year, $38 billion arms deal from the US earlier this year. Their airforce plans to maintain two F-35's squadrons.>> These jets are fifth generation fighters that we've been told by one of the base commanders here. And as such are able to deliver a deadly strike very accurately at a target without being spotted enroute to wherever the enemy might be.
>> Israel mostly flies missions close to home, in the Gaza Strip and against arm shipments to Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria. Experts say the stealth capabilities will make up for any shortfalls.