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Report: U.S. Approves Israeli Request to Purchase Advanced Aircraft

 F-15E Strike Eagle

Ahead of the meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama in Washington, the United States is set to approve an upgraded military aid package to Israel that will include the V-22 Osprey, an advanced aircraft that Jerusalem had previously requested, The Times of Israel reported on Monday.


READ MORE:  US Set to Approve Arms Package for Israel Worth $1.8 Billion


Israel is said to have finalized its “shopping list” of desired US military material as part of a new long-term agreement for US defense assistance to Israel to maintain its qualitative edge in the region. On the list, and reportedly approved in principle by the US, is an Israeli request for V-22 Ospreys, planes which are believed capable of reaching Iran and which Israel reportedly sought from the US in 2012 — and was refused — when contemplating a strike on Iran’s Fordow enrichment facility. …

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Under a separate budgetary hierarchy, the US administration is understood to be well-disposed to ensure funding for Israel’s missile defense systems — maintaining and improving the Iron Dome and the Arrow systems, and deploying David’s Sling, to ensure Israel can counter threats from neighboring Gaza, south Lebanon and Syria, as well as from an Iran that is relentlessly developing its ballistic missile systems. The increasing involvement of Iran and Russia across Israel’s northern border raises new challenges on which Israel and the US are said to largely see eye-to-eye. …

Israel has already contracted for more than 30 F-35 multirole fighter planes; it may ultimately want 50, or even 75. It also seeks a host of F-15 jets which incorporate Israeli-developed advanced technologies and are considered the “workhorse” of the Israeli Air Force.

At a news conference with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon last week, American Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter stressed the benefits of military cooperation between the two countries:

Our defense relationship spans the entire spectrum from tunnels and terrorists right up through the high-end.

That’s one of the reasons why we’ll be with the F-35 tomorrow. We work on all of the techniques, tactics and procedures regarding high-end warfare, in this case warfare from the air, right down to tunnels. […]

This is one of the most trusted relationships we have in the world and so when we discover something that is critical to both of us, we share it, and we do that from electronic warfare to cyber to all kinds of […] tremendous intelligence sharing.

On October 19, the American and Israeli Air Forces began their biennial Blue Flag joint exercise near the southern Israeli city of Eilat. The drills, which concluded on October 29, included personnel from a total of 34 countries, including Britain, Canada, France, Greece, Poland, and Austria. A video published by the Israeli Air Force and embedded below features footage from exercise. Staff




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