Apparently, in accepting American military and economic aid, not only is Israel paying too much for the F-35s in terms of political capital, but in real terms already.
A Dutch Newspaper, NRC Handelsblad, is reporting that Israel is paying twice as much as the Netherlands is for these Joint Strike Fighters. Unfortunately, the article is in Dutch, and since I don’t understand Dutch, I have to rely on Ynet for its translation and report (in Hebrew).
Eight countries, the Netherlands among them, participated in the research and development of the Joint Strike Fighter, also known as the F-35. According to the report, the Dutch invested $5.67 billion in the project and is expected to receive 85 aircraft, in return. This would mean that the Dutch government is paying approximately €66 million per aircraft. In the deal that has been recently finalized with the U.S., on the other hand, Israel is going to pay approximately €142 million.
Israel is the first country, outside of the original eight nations that were original participants in the project, to purchase an F-35, and so this is the first time the Pentagon is giving a binding price quote. NRC Handelsblad also says that it is possible that Israel is purchasing more expensive versions of the F-35, since it is interested in installing its own equipment on board the aircraft.
This, in my view, is unacceptable. I am no expert on defense systems or on pricing and sales of such systems, and so I am not saying that Israel isn’t getting a fair deal, or that the F-35 aren’t actually worth these prices.
What I am saying, as I have said before, is that if Israel were to rely on its own R&D, without having American money to spend on American projects, it would be much better off. Money spent would remain within Israeli borders, bolstering the Israeli economy, odds are the actual costs would be lower, and maybe its just arrogance, but the product would be just as good as not better.
Laziness and greediness is keeping Israel from progress. American “aid” is simply not aiding Israel.