The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) are preparing for two major deals with the US, including the procurement of aircraft designed to renew its stock of warplanes and transportation helicopters, Israeli media sources revealed Thursday.
Most of the money for the procurement will come from $3.33 billion US aid money allocated for the F-35 projects and missile inventory, the sources pointed out.
The exact budget for buying the planes will become clear only after the budget is divided in the framework of the Gideon multi-year plan and the beginning of implementation of the new aid agreement in 2018.
For a long time, the IOF had wanted to replace its F-15s, manufactured by Boeing, with a better version of the aircraft equipped with an advanced active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar system. This aircraft does not have stealth capabilities, but it can carry larger payloads, has advanced attack capabilities, and is operated by a two-man crew, which is an advantage in complex missions. The twin-engine warplane can continue operating even when one of the engines is disabled.
The new F-15s cost $100 million a plane. They are more advanced than the F-15s purchased from the US by Saudi Arabia and Qatar in recent years.
Israel insisted that the US refrain from selling the new version to Qatar in order to maintain the Israeli air force’s superiority in the Middle East, but former President Barack Obama disagreed and approved the sale of 72 of the aircraft just before he left office.
Since it first flew 40 years ago, the F-15 has undergone upgrades and facelifts. It is classified as a “strategic bomber.”
(Source / 09.03.2017)