The Department of Defense is gearing up to help the State of Israel buy its first F-35 stealth fighter jets.

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Photo: Wikimedia

On Thursday, the DoD announced that it is awarding Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), the plane's manufacturer, a $20.1 million fixed-price-incentive, firm-target, advance acquisition contract to begin purchasing "long-lead" parts, materials, and components necessary to build two low-rate, initial production Lot II F-35 fighters for the Israeli military. Lockheed's contract runs through May 2014.

From engines by United Technologies, to avionics from Northrop Grumman, to the "black box" crash recorder from L-3 Communications, Lockheed buys parts from 1,400 domestic suppliers in 46 states and Puerto Rico to build the F-35.

This being an intermediated sale to Israel via the Pentagon, the contract is classified as a Foreign Military Sales contract.

Fool contributor Rich Smith has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of L-3 Communications Holdings, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.