IAF may buy jets used by US in Iraq

Advantage in purchasing military equipment, senior IDF officer explains, is in the price, which would likely be dramatically lower than buying same equipment new.

December 26, 2011 02:12
2 minute read.
IAF F15 fighter jet (Illustrative)

IAF F15 fighter jet 311 (R). (photo credit: Baz Ratner / Reuters)


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Due to the ongoing upheaval in the Middle East and potential delays to existing procurement plans, the IDF is looking at the possibility of purchasing fighter jets and other platforms used by the United States military in Iraq.

The advantage in purchasing military equipment used by the US in Iraq, a senior IDF officer explained, was in the price, which would likely be dramatically lower than buying the same equipment new.

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Battalion will keep IAF bases operational in attack

According to the officer, one possibility under consideration is asking the Americans to purchase fighter jets – possibly F- 15s – that were used in Iraq.

“The Americans are cutting their defense budget and are expected to decommission certain aircraft,” the officer said. “If there is a decision here to increase the defense budget or to purchase additional fighter jets until the F- 35 arrives later this decade, then buying the used American planes could become a real possibility,” he added.

Israel’s concern is that the delivery date for its first batch of 20 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters will be pushed back farther than the 2017 date. A number of reports recently came out of the Pentagon regarding potential problems with the development of the aircraft and the possibility that production plans will be slowed down.

If that happens, Israel could also be asked to pay more for the aircraft, meaning that it might be asked to add to the $2.75 billion it committed to paying for the 20 F-35s under the 2010 deal, or suffice with less aircraft.

The IDF has been holding marathon talks with the Treasury in recent weeks in an effort to reach an agreement regarding the size of the defense budget for the coming year. While the talks have yet to result in an agreement, defense sources said they were confident that a resolution would be reached by the end of the month.

The IDF is claiming that due to the changes in the region – particularly in Egypt – now is not the time to cut the defense budget, but rather to increase it in order to enable the military to build up new formations and capabilities needed to counter future threats.


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