Israeli and U.S. government leaders joined Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) in Fort Worth June 22 to celebrate the rollout of the first Israeli Air Force F-35A Lightning II.
“Israel is proud to be the first country in the area to receive and operate it,” said Avigdor Liberman, Israel’s Minister of Defense. “The F-35 is the best aircraft in the world and the choice of all our military leadership at its highest level. It is clear and obvious to us and to the entire region that the new F-35, the Adir, will create real deterrence and enhance our capabilities for a long time.”
Joining the Minister at the ceremony, attended by more than 400 guests from government, the military and industry, were the Honorable U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro; Minister Tzachi Hanegbi of Israel’s Office of the Prime Minister; Heidi Grant, Deputy Under Secretary of the U.S. Air Force for International Affairs; Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, F-35 Program Executive Officer, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, and state Rep. Craig Goldman, R-Fort Worth..
“We’re honored to partner with Israel and help strengthen the deep and lasting partnership between our two nations,” said Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin Chairman, President and CEO at the ceremony. “The F-35 will help Israel remain a beacon of strength and stability in the region and support a safe and secure homeland for generations to come.”
Lockheed has been making several international sales of the F-35, earlier in June making a deal with Denmark that will see that nation buy 27 F-35s at a cost of $3 billion, replacing a fleet of aging fighter planes.