Calling Israel’s self-defense capabilities and its qualitative military edge “central to both Israel and U.S. security interests,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Oct. 31, 2013 that Israel will buy six V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft for its air force. Hagel made the announcement during his keynote address at the 100th annual Anti-Defamation League meeting in New York. “Israel will get six V-22s out of the next order to go on the assembly line, and they will be compatible with other [Israeli defense force] capabilities,” he said. “The Israeli and American defense relationship is stronger than ever.”
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress 13 January 2014 of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Israel for V-22B Block C Aircraft and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $1.13 billion. This notice of a potential sale is required by law and did not mean the sale has been concluded.
The Government of Israel (GOI) has requested a possible sale of 6 V-22B Block C Aircraft, 16 Rolls Royce AE1107C Engines, 6 AN/APR-39 Radar Warning Receiver Systems, 6 AN/ALE-47 Countermeasure Dispenser Systems, 6 AN/AAR-47 Missile Warning Systems, 6 AN/APX-123 Identification Friend or Foe Systems, 6 AN/ARN-153 Tactical Airborne Navigation Systems, 6 AN/ARN-147 Very High Frequency (VHF) Omni-directional Range (VOR) Instrument Landing System (ILS) Beacon Navigation Systems, 6 Multi-Band Radios, 6 AN/APN-194 Radar Altimeters, 6 AN/ASN-163 Miniature Airborne Global Positioning System (GPS) Receivers (MAGR), 36 AN/AVS-9 Night Vision Goggles, Joint Mission Planning System, support and test equipment, software, repair and return, aircraft ferry services, tanker support, spare and repair parts, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and technical support, and other elements of technical and program support.
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 of V-22B aircraft will enhance and increase the Israel Defense Forces’ search and rescue and special operations capabilities. The V-22B provides the capability to move personnel and equipment to areas not accessible by fixed wing lift assets. The GOI will have no difficulty absorbing this technology into its current aircraft inventory. The proposed sale of these aircraft will not alter the basic military balance in the region.
The principal contractors involved with this proposed sale will be Bell and Boeing in California, MD via a joint venture arrangement with final aircraft assembly occurring in Amarillo, TX. There are no known offset agreements in connection with this potential sale.
Implementation of this proposed sale will require travel of up to thirty (30) U.S. Government or contractor representatives to Israel on a temporary basis for program technical support and management oversight. There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.
There was a bad relationship between the president and the prime minister – there’s no secret in that. But generally there is actually very close, perhaps unprecedented, cooperation on intelligence and on security at the working level. In an October 2014 visit to Washington, Ya'alon did see US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power. But the White House and State Department rejected Israeli proposals for meetings with Vice President Joe Biden, national security adviser Susan Rice and Secretary of State John Kerry.
But in November 2014 Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon (Likud) decided to drop Israel’s planned purchase of the US V-22 Osprey aircraft. The decision reportedly stemmed from lessons learned in Operation Protective Edge, and the recent conclusion of an agreement to buy a second batch of costly Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighters. Another reason for the move was the fact that the purchase of six V-22 aircraft did not justify establishing a new logistical wing in the IAF to utilize the advanced planes.
Following the Gaza offensive, Ya'alon chose to produce more home-built Namer (Leopard) heavy armored personnel carriers and increase stocks of precision munitions. Yaalon's decision went against the Israeli military's wishes.
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