Has Donald Trump approved the sale of the world’s best fighter jet – the F-22 Raptors to Israel, as the US plans to sell F-35 jets to the UAE and even Qatar?
According to reports in Israeli media, US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told Israeli officials during a visit to Israel this week that Washington has approved selling F-22 stealth fighter jets to the Middle-East nation.
US President Donald Trump approved the sale of the F-22 Raptor and precision-guided bombs to Israel, the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper report was widely cited by the Israeli media.
Earlier, as EurAsian Times reported, Israel reluctantly gave it approval to the US for selling F-35 jets to the UAE that would diminish its military domination in the region.
The UAE and some of the other Arab nations have had their sights on the US F-35 stealth fighters long before the peace deal with Israel, with Netanyahu repeatedly obstructing any potential sale of the fighter jets, stating that the supply of arms was not part of the deal.
However, following a meeting between the US Defence Secretary Mark Esper and Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Israel is said to have conceded and approved the sale of the fighters to the UAE.
Israel had previously expressed interest in buying the F-22, but the US declined, the report said. The US suspended production of the fighter in 2011 and legally barred its sale to foreign countries.
The Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor Fighter Jet is a single-seat, twin-engine, all-weather, fifth-generation, stealth, multi-role fighter, bracketed under one of the world’s most lethal fighters due to the tremendous amount of cutting-edge technology used to develop them.
The fighter is developed by two of the world’s biggest aerospace giants, with prime contractor Lockheed Martin building its airframe and weapons systems while also catering for its distribution and Boeing providing the fighter with wings, aft fuselage, avionics integration, and training systems.
What makes the F-22 a beast up in the air is the ultimate combination of stealth and aerodynamic performance, enabling it to possess unmatched fighting capabilities against other fighters.
Additionally, the US could also be selling bunker-busting bombs to Israel, for which two bipartisan house Legislators are poised to introduce a bill seeking approval from the Pentagon for the same.
The bill would suggest the sales of transferring long-sought munitions capable of destroying bunkers and facilities and would be so far one of the greatest threats to Iran’s underground nuclear sites. However, the bill still has to face hurdles before its cleared.
“The massive munitions, reportedly long sought by Jerusalem, are seen as an essential component should Israel ever attempt to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities, some of which are located deep underground and out of the range of ordnance currently in Israel’s arsenal,” reported TimesofIsrael.
The move is said to be an attempt to bolster Israel’s ‘Qualitative Military Edge’ in the region, for which it is provided with the latest weaponry and support from the United States and is consulted for every arms sale in the Middle East.
Democrat congressman Josh Gottheimer, one of the ones pushing for the bill, said “We must ensure our ally Israel is equipped and prepared to confront a full range of threats, including the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran.
That’s why I’m proud to be introducing this new bipartisan bill to defend Israel from Iran and Hezbollah and reinforce our historic ally’s qualitative military edge in the region with ‘bunker buster’ munitions. Iran and its terrorist proxies throughout the region must never be able to threaten the U.S. or Israel with a nuclear weapon. Truly, there should be nothing partisan about our national security, nor our relationship with our ally Israel.”
The munition mentioned would potentially allow the US to sell GBU-57 A/B Massive Ordnance Penetrator, which is a precision-guided 14,000 kg bomb capable of penetrating through 200 feet (60 metres) of earth and 60 feet (18 metres) of concrete, making them a direct threat to any underground facilities in neighbouring countries.
These are the biggest non-nuclear bombs in the U.S. inventory.
“We also must fight anti-Semitism, extremism, misinformation, and homegrown hate — like the Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, and other groups here in New Jersey — wherever it exists, whether at home or abroad or online. We cannot allow these ideas to fester, to go unchecked, or to be further embraced. We must continue to act to address anti-Semitism and hate wherever and whenever we see it — on the right, and on the left, wherever it is targeted,” congressman Gottheimer added.