The political chaos in Israel, with a third general election in less than a year has delayed decisions about crucial aircraft, including the replacement for the old CH-53, whether to buy the V-22 and the urgent need for the KC-46A .

A KC-46 refuels an F-35
TEL AVIV: The Israeli Air Force (IAF) will ask the U.S Air Force to give up two of its production slots for the Boeing KC-46A so it can get early delivery of the aerial refueling aircraft, a senior military source tells Breaking D.
The KC-46 A will replace the old Boeing 707s (Reem), used by the IAF. The planes were modified for Israeli requirements by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).
The political chaos in Israel, with a third general election in less than a year has delayed decisions about crucial aircraft, including the replacement for the old CH-53, whether to buy the V-22 and the urgent need for the KC-46A .
These three platforms are of the utmost importance if the Israeli Air Force will have to attack targets far from Israel, such as Iran.

Army photo
A CH-47 lifts a Humvee
The IAF has tested the two helicopters and there are two options – to issue an RFP to Lockheed Martin ND Boeing for the CH-53K and the CH-47, or to make a selection and buy the replacements straight away.

Navy photo
CH-53K King Stallion lifting a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) in tests.
The issue became urgent after the November crash of a CH-53 in November. The engine caught fire, completely destroying the aircraft.
The IAF has launched an investigation; until it ends all CH-53s are grounded. While the helicopter was completely destroyed following the emergency landing, all 11 soldiers from the elite Shaldag commando unit and two pilots made it out unhurt.
The helicopter was one of three en route to a base in southern Israel for a training exercise and was flying at a height of 170 meters when the third aircraft notified the pilots of the fire in the engine. The pilots carried out an emergency landing within a minute of the fire breaking out.
A clear demand of the IDF ‘s Depth Command will probably also accelerate the decision on the purchase of a “limited number” of V-22. The command made it clear that it will need a platform to transport special units “very fast for long distances.”
In August, the Israeli Ministry of Defense issued a price & availability (P&A) request to the U.S Navy’s International Program Office asking to buy V-22s.
After delays of several years, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) chief of staff, Lt. General Aviv Kochavi, decided there is an operational need for 12 to 14 V-22s.
Why the long wait? It looks if Israel faced some of the same indecision as did the Japanese, with the IAF and ground forces arguing about the aircraft’s safety and suitabillity. With the chief’s decision, Israeli sources said that immediately after a new government is formed the purchase of the V-22 “will be on the table.” (ARIE EGOZI).

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