Israel To Buy 12 Helicopters, Refueling Aircraft From U.S. Government

The State of Israel will purchase helicopters and refueling aircraft from the United States government.

The agreement, signed on Thursday, will upgrade the Israel Air Force’s current equipment. The Jerusalem Post reported:

The deal regarding the helicopters is estimated at USD $2 billion with the first expected to arrive in Israel throughout 2026 and the option to procure an additional six helicopters. The agreement was signed with the US Navy by the head of the Defense Ministry Mission to the US Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Michel Ben Baruch.

Israel announced last February that it would purchase one squadron of CH-53K over Boeing’s CH-47 to replace its fleet of Yasur helicopters at Tel Nof Air Base. First used by the IAF in 1969, the Yasur is the air force’s primary helicopter used to transport soldiers and equipment and has taken part in a wide variety of missions, including secret operations as well as search and rescue missions…

Another agreement worth approximately $1.1 billion, was signed for the procurement of an additional two Boeing KC-46 refueling aircraft, to add to the two already purchased.

“The procurement of these platforms is part of a large-scale program undertaken by the Ministry of Defense together with the IDF over the last year and a half, with the aim of strengthening the IDF’s capabilities, force buildup, and preparedness to face existing and future threats,” Israel’s defense ministry said in a statement. “The procurement plans include the purchase of a new fleet of F35 aircraft, refueling aircraft, CH-53K helicopters, advanced air munition, air defense systems, new marine, and land platforms as well as cyber systems.”

The deal occurs as President Joe Biden fails to rekindle nuclear negotiations with Iran — and allows for contingencies in dealing with Iran’s nuclear program in case talks flounder. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned in September that Israel would take military action against Iran to stop the nation’s regime from securing a nuclear weapon.

“Iran’s nuclear weapon program is at a critical point. All red lines have been crossed. Inspections — ignored. All wishful-thinking — proven false,” he said. “Iran is currently violating the IAEAs safeguard agreements — and it’s getting away with it. They harass inspectors and sabotage their investigations — and they’re getting away with it. They enrich Uranium to the level of 60 percent, which is only one step short of weapons-grade material — and they’re getting away with it.”

“Evidence which clearly proves Iran’s intentions for nuclear weapons in secret sites in Turquzabad, Teheran & Marivan — is ignored,” he continued. “Iran’s nuclear program has hit a watershed moment. And so has our tolerance.”

“Words do not stop centrifuges from spinning. There are those in the world who seem to view Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons as an inevitable reality, as a done deal, or they’ve just become tired of hearing about it,” Bennett continued. “Israel doesn’t have that privilege. We cannot tire. We will not tire. Israel will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.”

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