JERUSALEM --- The Israel Air Force will not be procuring Boeing’s V-22 Osprey due to budgetary issues, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
While the military believes there is an operational need for between 12 and 14 aircraft that can take off and land like helicopters but fly like fixed-wing planes, there are not enough funds to procure the tilt-rotor aircraft.
The V-22 is designed for sensitive, extensive missions during times of war and for routine use.
The IAF is modernizing its squadrons of aging fighter jets and helicopters and believes there needs to be a mix of heavy-lift helicopters and the V-22, a defense source told the Post last year.
As part of the new procurements funded in large part by the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Jerusalem and Washington, which would see Israel receive $38 billion in military assistance over the next decade, Israel has purchased two squadrons of F-35 Adir stealth fighters and is currently deciding between Boeing’s Chinook or Lockheed Martin’s CH-53K heavy-lift helicopters.
The IAF is also set to decide between purchasing a third squadron of F-35 jets or Boeing’s latest F-15I.
As part of the IDF’s new multiyear plan, it will be closing one squadron of fighter jets in the coming year. It also aims to open another advanced IAF squadron of F-15 or F-35 fighter jets. (end of excerpt)
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