Israel to procure additional F-35 and V-22 OSPREY

Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II (Photo Courtesy Lockheed Martin)

The newly formed Israeli government will soon have to make decisions about the purchase of additional platforms for the Israeli Air Force (IAF). The service wants more F-35s LIGHTNING IIs and F-15 EAGLES while the government will also have to decide whether to purchase the V-22 OSPREY. 

Late last year, the (IAF) took another step towards the purchase of the V-22 as Boeing representatives were in Israel and met with the IAF in addition to Israeli Ground Forces so they could understand the adaptations Israel wants in the 12 V-22s the country intends to purchase. Last August, the Israeli Ministry of Defence issued a Price and Availability (P&A) request to the U.S Navy’s international programmes office (NIPO) for the acquisition of the V-22. 

This additional step in the long delayed acquisition of the tiltrotor has been made after Lt. General Aviv Kochavi, the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff, decided that there is an operational need for 12-14 V22 tiltrotor aircraft.

The decision on the acquisition of the V-22 has been delayed for some years, mainly because of conflicting reports made by the IAF and the IDF’s Ground Forces Command. 

The Chief of Staff’s decision ended the debate about the operational need for the V-22 as according to sources, it fits well to Kochavi’s strategy to end future armed conflicts in the region with focused force and in the shortest possible time. The Israeli adaptations are directly connected to this operational requirement

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