IDF’s Plans to Purchase New Aircraft is Contingent Upon U.S. Cooperation
April 22, 2017
In addition to its purchase of F-35 aircrafts from the United States in December, the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) is very close to making another deal with the U.S. on aircraft production through the purchase of two force squadrons and new transportation helicopters. As of now, the Israeli plan to finance the aircraft is unclear, however, it is known that most of the money for the procurement will come from the $3.33 billion of U.S. aid from the December F-35 project. Although the Air Force is determining whether to purchase two additional F-35s or the newly updated F-15s, it has shown interest in replacing their F-15s from Boeing with new ones that possess advanced technology such as AESA (Advanced Electronically Scanned Array) radar system which could be a major advantage in the long run. Also, according to the Business Insider unlike F-35s, F-15s possess the advantage of having the perfect capability to intercept enemy aircraft. Accordingly, it can be argued that purchasing these updated F-15s would help Israel maintain its distinct superior status in air force technology in the Middle East.
In addition to purchasing two new air force squadrons, the Israeli Ministry of Defense is also in the process of determining which type of transportation helicopters and is torn between two options: Sikorsky-Lockheed Martin's CH-53 K helicopters or Boeing's CH-47 Chinook.
The U.S.’s engagement in the air force procurement deals will have an influence in the price and the amount of product that the Jewish State will purchase. In meetings with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, U.S. Secretary of Defense General James Mattis and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson the topic of air force procurement deals has more than likely been discussed with Israeli Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman, however a final decision is still in progress.