Israel's Ministry of Defense recently sent a letter to the US Department of Defense to complete the purchase of 17 F-35 jets, Israel's Walla News reported on Thursday. Each plane costs approximately US$100 million. The acquisition was first announced in November 2016, and brings the total number of F-35s purchased by Israel to 50.
Israel is the only country in the Middle East to have the jet, which was not included in the recent arms deal signed between the US and Saudi Arabia.
The Israeli version of the F-35, the "Adir", had its first test flight at the Lockheed Martin facility in Fort Worth, Texas in July 2016. Five of the planes are currently in operation out of southern Israel's Nevatim air base, with two more due to arrive in August, a further two in September, and nine additional planes in 2018.
Israel is also expected to receive a test plane for experimenting with new technologies.