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Israel increases order for F-35 fighter jets to 50

JERUSALEM Israel’s security cabinet on Sunday approved the purchase of an additional 17 Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter jets, bringing its total number on order to 50.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement the decision to increase the order was unanimous.

Lockheed is developing three versions of the F-35 Lightning II jets for the U.S. military and nine countries that have already placed orders – Britain, Italy, Turkey, the Netherlands, Norway, Australia, Japan, Israel and South Korea.

Israel’s first two are expected to be delivered by the end of the year.

(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Greg Mahlich)