While there is no progress in the advancement of the Israeli-American large-scale aircrafts deal, the US Air Force decided to purchase 12 more KC-46A tanker aircraft.Boeing said on Sunday that it was awarded a $1.7 billion contract by the US Air Force. With this sixth production lot, Boeing is now on contract for 79 KC-46A tankers in total, for the US Air Force, which is seeking to replace its old tankers.The company delivered the first KC-46A to the Air Force in January 2019. Since then, Boeing has delivered 42 tankers to four different bases. The Israeli Defense Ministry, meanwhile, is currently working on a deal worth billions of dollars with the United States, which would replace many of the IAF’s old aircraft.As part of the deal, the air force reportedly is planning to purchase four KC-46a tankers.Last March the US State Department approved a possible sale of up to eight KC-46 tanker aircraft and related equipment to Israel for an estimated cost of $2.4 billion, marking the first time that Washington has allowed Jerusalem to buy new tankers.The KC-46 tankers will replace Israel’s Ram (Boeing 707) tanker aircraft that are required for long-range missions and nearing the age of 60. Israel’s fleet of Ram planes, the number of which remains confidential, are former civilian aircraft adapted for military uses such as aerial refueling for fighter jets, as well as its fleet of transport aircraft. With a range of 11,830 km. with the capacity to unload some 207,000 pounds of fuel, the KC-46 can refuel over 64 different types of aircraft including the F-35 stealth fighter jet and the F-15 fighter.This massive aircraft deal is currently facing hurdles due to disagreements between the Defense and Finance ministries over the payment method and due to the government’s failure to approve a budget for the country.A fourth round of elections in March— which means both further delay in passing an annual budget and more political disagreements — is pushing approval of the deal further away.In November, Defense Ministry Director-General Amir Eshel warned that continued postponement of the deal undermines Israel’s security. He blamed the lack of a budget as being a major hurdle blocking its advancement.He then said that the ministry cannot wait any longer, because if there is no budget by the end of the year, it will be operating on a partial budget from 2020, which is already running on a budget from 2019.The IDF, he said at the time, “urgently” needs new aircraft to replace Israel’s aging fleet of Re’em Boeing 707 refueling tankers.“There is no country in the world that flies platforms that are this old,” Eshel said at the time. “To fly a re-fueler or a helicopter with more than 50 soldiers inside is not trivial. These are non-trivial risk levels.“If God forbid something happens, what would we say to ourselves?” he asked. “Our operational and safety needs are paramount. There is no other way to present it.” Anna Ahronheim contributed to this report.