Israel has a contract with the United States to purchase 12 Lockheed Martin Corp. CH-53K helicopters and two Boeing Co KC-46 refueling aircraft, the Israel Defense Ministry announced on Friday, putting the total price at around $ 3.1 billion.
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The deal, signed on Thursday, is part of an upgrade to Israel’s air force capabilities and includes an option to purchase six additional helicopters, the ministry said in a statement.
The first helicopters should arrive in Israel in 2026. Brigadier General Shimon Tsentsiper, chief of materials for the Air Force, told Israeli army radio on Thursday that the refueling planes ordered would not be delivered before 2025.
|LMT||LOCKHEED MARTIN CORP.||355.41||+1.83||+ 0.52%|
|BA||THE BOEING CO.||201.32||-1.39||-0.69%|
He said Israel is trying to move forward with delivery of the KC-46 and will end up wanting four of them in total.
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Israeli media has speculated that the refueling planes could be crucial in a long-looming air strike on Iranian nuclear facilities. Tsentsiper said the Air Force’s current refueling capabilities were sufficient for their missions.
(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Alex Richardson)