Old CH-53 to Retire, New CH-53K to be Inducted; Israeli MoD Selects Lockheed Martin’s CH-53K for Old Fleet Replacement

Foreign Affairs

By ARIE EGOZI

Tel Aviv. Israeli Ministry of Defense selected the Lockheed Martin’s CH53K as the replacement for the old CH-53, which is in service now.

The other option was the Boeing CH-47. The price of the CH-53K will affect the number of V-22 that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) want for its Depth command.

Today, Defense Minister Benny Gantz accepted the recommendations presented by IDF Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, and Defense Ministry Director General Maj. Gen. (Res.), Amir Eshel, to select Lockheed Martin’s CH-53K helicopters as the IDF’s new heavy lift aircraft, as part of the Forces’ “Tnufa” (Momentum), multi-year plan. These will replace the CH-53 “Yassur” helicopters in service by the IAF since the late 1960s.

The decision was made following a professional assessment that included test flights in all the proposed aircraft, as well as a thorough examination of the various alternatives in terms of engineering, technological, maintenance and other considerations. All details, including the number of helicopters requested, will be brought to the approval of the Ministerial Committee for Procurement as soon as possible.

The concluding discussion, chaired by the Minister of Defense, was attended by IDF Chief of the General Staff, Director General of the Ministry of Defense, IAF Commander, Maj. Gen. AmikamNorkin, and Head of the IDF’s Planning Directorate, Maj. Gen. Tomer Bar.

-The writer is an Israel-based freelance journalist

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