Against the sale of F-35 Lightning II aircraft to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Israel has asked the United States for the F-22A Raptor aircraft. After a meeting between Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz and US Defence Secretary Mark Esper, the parties approved the sale of the F-35 to the UAE.
Israeli media reported that raptor planes were requested from the United States in response to the “concession”.
Raptors, which are not currently in production, are of great importance to the U.S. Air Force as tensions with China rise in the South China Sea. Defence industry analysts say it is therefore unlikely that the Pentagon will sell existing Raptors to Israel.
Qatar's demand for an F-35 came after it was raised that the UAE, which “normalizes” relations with Israel, would buy a fifth-generation fighter jet from the United States. Israeli Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen said his country should continue its military superiority in the region, adding that they do not want the F-35 sold to the Middle East. “Our security and military superiority in the region is the most important thing for us. The Middle East has not yet become Switzerland,” he said.