Pentagon, Lockheed reach agreement on using Israeli systems for F-35s

The Pentagon and Lockheed Martin Corp. have reached an agreement to integrate Israeli systems into the F-35 fighter jet.

The $450 million program will enhance electronic warfare equipment on the jets, according to sources familiar with the negotiations, Reuters reported.

The deal, to be finalized in coming weeks, marks a big step forward for Israel’s $2.75 billion agreement, signed in 2010, to buy 19 F-35 jets; it includes options for up to 75 of the radar-evading fighters, according to Reuters.

The agreement will allow increased participation in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program by Israeli companies, including Elbit Systems Ltd. and Israel Aerospace Industries, which will start building wings for the radar-evading warplane, Reuters reported.