By ARIE EGOZI
Tel Aviv. Israeli air force (IAF) major procurement program has been launched after many delays.
The first program for the procurement of two Tanker jets was launched over the weekend with the signing of an LOA. In addition to the Tankers, similar processes will be launched to acquire a third F35 squadron, heavy lift Helicopters to replace the CH53 Yasur fleet, advanced munitions and more. The procurement programs are conducted with US Military channels, utilizing Foreign Military Financing (FMF).
Over the weekend, Head of the Israel Ministry of Defense Mission to the U.S., Brig. Gen. (Res.) Mishel Ben Baruch signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA), for two KC-46 Tanker Jets, to be manufactured by the Boeing Corporation. In the next phase, two additional tanker aircraft will be acquired, out of a total of up to eight that will make up the future fleet.
As part of the agreement, the aircraft will be fitted with unique Israeli systems in accordance with the operational requirements of the Israeli Air Force (IAF). The first aircraft delivery is expected by the middle of this decade.
The procurement plan based on U.S. security assistance, is crucial to strengthening the IAF and for the IDF’s QME (Quality Military Edge) in the decades to come. The plan includes the procurement of a new fleet of F-35 aircraft, KC-46 refueling aircraft, helicopters to replace the “Yasur”, advanced munitions, air defense systems, marine and ground platforms, cyber systems and more.
-The writer is an Israel-based freelance journalist