An Israeli Air Force F-35I seen being loaded with JDAM precision-guided bombs for use against targets in the Gaza Strip. (Israeli Air Force)
Announced on 12 February, the ruling from the Dutch appeals court said all national industries involved in the international F-35 programme must cease the transfer of parts to Israel within seven days due to the risk of them being used “in serious violations of international humanitarian law”. The ruling is being appealed by the Dutch government.
In response to a request for comment, Lockheed Martin told Janes, “We are working closely with the F-35 Joint Program Office to evaluate the impacts the recent Dutch court ruling will have on our supply chain. We stand ready to support the US government and allies as needed.” The Israeli Ministry of Defense (MoD) had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.
The F-35I Adir ‘fifth-generation’ combat aircraft is arguably the premier strike fighter in Israeli service. Since the launch of Tel Aviv’s military response to the 7 October 2023 Hamas attacks in southern Israel, the F-35I has been used extensively against ground targets in the Gaza Strip, with the Israeli Air Force (IAF) releasing imagery showing the jets being loaded with Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) precision-guided bombs. It also has an air-defence role in the ongoing conflict, being used by the IAF to intercept cruise missiles fired from Yemen by the Iranian-backed Ansar Allah group (commonly known as the Houthis).