The first program for the procurement of two Boeing KC-46 Pegasus tanker jets was launched over the weekend with the signing of a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (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 much, much more.
The procurement programs are conducted with US Military channels, utilizing Foreign Military Financing (FMF).
Defense Minister Benny Gantz said: “I welcome the progress in the procurement plan, which is critical at this point. It is a cornerstone of the IDF’s security concept. I would like to thank our great friend the United States for supporting the State of Israel on all levels. We will continue to work to complete the agreements that will enable the IDF to fulfill its purpose and to move forward with the missions facing us in the various arenas, near and far, at sea, in the air, on land, and in cyberspace. ”
Over the weekend, Head of the Israel Defense Ministry Mission to the U.S. Brig. Gen. (Res.), Mishel Ben Baruch signed an LOA for the 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 refueling fleet.
As part of the agreement, the aircraft will be fitted with unique Israeli systems following the operational requirements of the Israeli Air Force. The first aircraft delivery is expected by the middle of this decade.
The procurement plan based on US security assistance is crucial to strengthening the IAF and for the IDF’s Quality Military Edge (QME) 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, and cyber systems.