120 Squadron - The International
The 120 squadron was formed in 1962 as a tranport group that originally incorporated four C-47s. In the following years, Israel added several B-777M and KC-97 aircraft. In 1971, two C-130H transport planes were received by the 120 squadron, but soon passed the squadron 113. The first Boeing 707 was added to the 119 squandron, with at least a dozen Boeing 707s added by the mid 1970s. As of 2005, the 119 squadron contained several Boeing 707 variants, including transport, reconnaissance, and EW as well as IAI-1124 aircraft. Israeli defense companies can make specific parts, if needed, and in 2017 the IAF bought a Boeing 707 from the Brazilian Air Force to use for parts.
With the need to keep ahead of increased threats in the Middle East, the Re’em aircraft are set to be replaced by Boeing’s advanced KC-46 refuelers in the yearsafter 2020. The KC-46 will give a lot more, both in terms of missions and range. The reach that they can get to will improve strategic depth.
On 03 March 2020 the US State Department made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Israel of up to eight (8) KC-46 aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $2.4 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale.
The Government of Israel has requested to buy up to eight (8) KC-46 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. 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.
The proposed sale further supports the foreign policy and national security of the United States by allowing Israel to provide a redundant capability to U.S. assets within the region, potentially freeing U.S. assets for use elsewhere during times of war. Aerial refueling and strategic airlift are consistently cited as significant shortfalls for our allies. In addition, the sale improves Israel's national security posture as a key U.S. ally. Israel will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces. The proposed equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.
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.