The US State Department has approved the sale of eight KC-46A tanker aircraft and related equipment for nearly $2.4 billion.
The Boeing KC-46 Pegasus plane completed receiver certification testing with Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II stealth jets, some of which Israel already owns, last May. A Request for Information (RFI) for the purchase of 50 F-35 jets has also been submitted by Israel, an official from Lockheed Martin had said in December.
Around mid-February, Israeli state media reported that the country had prioritized purchase of additional F-35I and F-15 fighters, and Boeing KC-46As. The tanker planes will replace obsolete Israel Air Force 707’s that serve as converted aerial refueling aircraft.
According to a report by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Israel bought 64% of its weapons from the US in 2018.
“The Government of Israel has requested to buy up to eight (8) KC-46 aerial refueling aircraft; up to seventeen (17) PW4062 turbofan engines (16 installed, 1 spare); and up to eighteen (18) MAGR 2K-GPS SAASM receivers (16 installed, 2 spares). Also included are AN/ARC-210 U/VHF radios, APX-119 Identification Friend or Foe transponders, initial spares and repair parts, consumables, support equipment, technical data, engineering change proposals, publications, Field Service Representatives (FSRs), repair and return, depot maintenance, training and training equipment, contractor technical and logistics personnel services, U.S. Government and contractor representative support, Group A and B installation for subsystems, flight test and certification, other related elements of logistics support and training,” Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a statement Tuesday.
The principal contractors will be Boeing Corporation, Everett, WA, for the aircraft; and Raytheon Company, Waltham, MA, for the MAGR 2K. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.