Israel Sign Letter of Acceptance for Two Boeing KC-46 Tankers
Israel Ministry of Defense (IMOD) signed a Letter of Acceptance (LOA) for two Boeing KC-46 aerial refueling tanker aircraft, the ministry announced.
According to the IMOD statement released on Twitter, the LOA was signed over the weekend starting the procurement program following the government’s approval of the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) acquisition plan. The new tankers are intended to replace Israeli Air Force’s (IAF) aging Re’em (converted Boeing 707) tanker fleet.
With this procurement, Israel will become the second international KC-46 customer after Japan which is now on contract for a total of four KC-46s. The Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s (JASDF) first KC-46 performed its maiden flight on Jan. 8 and the service is scheduled to receive its first jet this year.
Following gov. approval of the IDF acquisition plan, the MOD has begun to construct procurement programs. These are conducted with US Military channels, utilizing Foreign Military Financing. The first LOA was signed over the weekend for the procurement of 2 Boeing Tanker Jets.1/2 pic.twitter.com/9vAE52G3a1
— Ministry of Defense (@Israel_MOD) February 22, 2021
The IMOD statement added that similar processes will be launched to acquire a third F-35I Adir squadron, new heavy lift helicopters to replace the IAF’s CH-53 Yasur fleet, advanced munitions and more.
“The procurement plan based on U.S. security assistance is crucial to strengthening the IAF and for the IDF’s QME (Qualitative Military Edge) in the decades to come”, the statement added.
Boeing KC-46 Pegasus
The Boeing KC-46 Pegasus is a multirole aerial refueling tanker/transport aircraft developed by Boeing for the U.S. Air Force (USAF). The aircraft is derived from Boeing’s commercial 767 airframe.
The tanker is designed to refuel all allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures and can carry passengers, cargo and patients.
The first flight of the fully-provisioned KC-46 tanker took place in September 2015. KC-46’s primary operator, the USAF, took delivery of the first aircraft in 2020.