US set to approve arms package for Israel Worth $1.8 Billion

The State Department published a request for Congressional approval for a possible arms sale to Israel, worth $1.879 billion.

Southern Strike 15

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of the possible sale of arms to Israel on May 18, 2015.

The details were sent for congressional review on Tuesday.

A statement from the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said, “The United States is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to U.S. national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability. This proposed sale is consistent with those objectives and will not change the power balance in the region.”

It notes that Israel “already has these munitions in its inventory” and “will have no difficulty absorbing the additional munitions into its armed forces.” The proposed sale of these munitions will not alter the basic military balance in the region, ” it says.

The full list of weapons, which includes 750 bunker buster bombs and 3, 000 Hellfire missiles, is as follows:

The majority of the weapons included in the announced package are Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) Tail Kits built by Boeing. Israel requested 14, 500 such tail kits (KMU-556C/B), fitted to general purpose bombs, enabling the fighter planes to target each bomb to a specific target, defined by GPS coordinates. The majority of tail kits are designed for 900 kg (2, 000 lb) Mk-84 bombs. while 4, 000 are designed to fit the smaller, quarter-ton class Mk-82 weapons (500 pounds).

F-15E Strike Eagle
The ordnance package also include 12, 000 general purpose bombs associated with those kits – including Mk-82, Mk-83 and Mk-84 types. Israel is also producing those bombs in country, at the IMI heavy ordnance plant. The company developed the MPR-500 which has been type qualified by Boeing for the JDAM. The shipment will also include 500 DSU-38A/B Detector Laser Illuminated Target kits, enabling the JDAMs to engage laser-designated moving targets. These weapons can be carried by all of israel’s fighter jets, including the future F-35 expected to arrive in Israel by 2017.

Israel will also receive 4, 100 GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs (SDB), a compact precision guided weapon produced by Boeing, and employed by Israel’s Boeing F-15I strike fighters. These aircraft will also receive 50 deep penetration bombs of the BLU-113 type (GBU-28) and 700 BLU-109 penetrating warheads. The BLU-113 5, 000-pound ‘Bunker Busters’ carry 630 pounds of high explosives, encased in a hard steel shell that can penetrate 20 feet (six meters) of reinforced concrete. The BLU-109 packs 530 pounds (240 kg) of explosives, in a case weighing 1, 927 pounds (874 kg) that can penetrate about six meters of reinforced concrete. These bomb shells are produced by the Ordnance Technical Systems division of General Dynamics (GDOTS)

The BLU-113 is often joined with a laser guidance kit enabling the weapon to strike stationary or moving targets with very high precision. The arms package includes 1, 500 such kits, The BLU-109 is also coupled with a similar laser guidance kit. As part of the new package the IAF will receive 1, 500 Mk-83 Paveway kits and 700 BLU-109 Paveway kits. It will also include the supply of 3, 000 AGM-114K/R Hellfire missiles often used by the AH-64 Apache helicopter gunships, and 250 AIM-120C Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles, providing the primary interceptor for Israel’s F-16s, F-15s and future F-35. These missiles are produced by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.

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