The US State Division stated Friday it authorised the potential sale of 18 Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion heavy carry helicopters to the Israel Protection Forces as a part of a deal price as much as $3.4 billion.
The Protection Ministry selected the US-made helicopter earlier this yr to interchange the IDF’s fleet of CH-53 Sea Stallions which have been in service for the reason that Sixties.
The deal consists of engines, navigation techniques, weaponry, assist tools, spares and technical assist, the Reuters information company reported.
Though a contract has not essentially been signed, the State Division stated in an announcement that “america is dedicated to the safety of Israel, and it is important to US nationwide pursuits to help Israel to develop and preserve a powerful and prepared self-defense functionality.”
The prime contractors on the deal are the Lockheed Martin Corp and Common Electrical Co.
The Protection Ministry had been wavering between the Boeing CH-47 Chinook and Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion heavy transport helicopters to interchange its 50-year-old CH-53 helicopters, whose Israeli model is called Yassur.
When Protection Minister Benny Gantz got here into his submit he ordered the navy to rethink its plan to buy the V-22 tilt-rotor plane, which may perform as each an airplane and a helicopter, giving the navy — notably particular forces — better flexibility.
That despatched the ministry again to the drafting board and considerably prolonged the choice course of.
Gantz stated in February that the choice to buy the brand new helicopters was a “vital step in constructing the IDF’s energy, and important for performing a variety of operational duties as routine and in fight.”
The deal is a part of an general settlement that may even permit the navy to buy F-35 and F-15 fighter jets, refueling planes and different tools deemed crucial by the navy, like interceptor missiles and superior bombs for plane.
In February, the ministerial committee for navy acquisitions signed off on the acquisition of one other squadron’s price of F-35 fighter jets, in addition to 4 Boeing KC-46 refueling planes and superior missiles and bombs, following authorities approval for a contentious funding scheme to pay for the tools involving huge loans from america.
The approval for the purchases got here after some three years of requests from the navy for the tools, which was held up resulting from political squabbles and fights over the funds.
Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.