Reuters reported that the US and the UAE hope to have an initial agreement on the sale of F-35 stealth fighter jets to the Gulf state in place by December 2, in time for UAE National Day.
UAE has made it clear that as part of the normalization between Israel and the UAE that they will purchase the F-35 jets.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz traveled to Washington last night for a matter he called an urgent 24 hour visit concerning security matters. It now seems clear he is coming to meet with US Defense Secretary Mark Esper.
Gantz knows he can not stop the sale of F-35 jets to UAE, the discussions will be focused on what Israel can get for its military. In recent days Gantz has met with senior military officials, including IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi as to what sort of compensation Israel should demand from Washington in return.
Israel’s Air Force is in dire need of upgrades and Gantz will likely discuss the various platforms that the IAF would like such as another F-35 squadron, F-15X fighter jets, KC-46 refuelers, Chinook or CH-53K and V-22 Osperys. The topics Gantz will discuss with Esper will make sure that even when Emirati pilots are taking to the skies in F-35s, that Israel has the platforms needed to keep its superiority in the skies of the Middle East.