TEL AVIV --- With the IAF soon to procure Boeing F-15s or a third squadron of Lockheed Martin's F-35s, the two US companies' executives made their case at the "Globes" Defense Industry Conference in Tel Aviv yesterday.
Brig. Gen (res.) Avi Barber, VP Boeing MDS said, "It is not only the aircraft - but what our defense industries put on to it and in a way that strengthens R&D, and which subsequently increases their exports,"
Barber gave a comprehensive summary of the F-15 IA combat aircraft's capabilities ahead of the soon to be decided procurement choice for the Israel Air Force between a third squadron of Lockheed Martin's F-35s or Boeing's new F-15s, which can carry larger payloads of munitions to a wide range of targets.
He added, "The F-15 IA aircraft are completely different - another generation from the F-35. It is equipped with a touch screen that reads infra-red coordinates manufactured by Israeli company Elbit Systems. The moment that we go into a project like this, we will undertake orders from Israel's defense industries, which will be asked to develop systems that are several generations ahead and later on that will also expand export opportunities and give a strong boost on world markets."
Lockheed Martin VP customer requirements Gary North, a former combat pilot and Head of the Pacific Air Forces, said, "The Israel Air Force works on the most complicated and advanced aircraft in the world. When the F-35 reached Israel it changed the dynamics in the region. All of us know that this is a tough neighborhood and the capabilities of this aircraft are suited for the operational requirements, providing major operational flexibility. We expect to increase the munitions payload capability in the future."
North detailed the F-35's capabilities and stressed its contribution to Israel's defense industries, for example the helmets integrated into the aircraft by Elbit Systems. (end of excerpt)
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