US to sell Israel aerial refueling planes – report
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US to sell Israel aerial refueling planes – report

Air force said looking to purchase 8 Boeing KC-46 Pegasus aircraft using American defense aid, to replace its aging tanker fleet

A US Air Force Boeing KC-46 Pegasus aerial refueling plane connects to a F-35 fighter jet over California, January 22, 2019. (Wikipedia, public domain, US Air Force photo by Ethan Wagner)
A US Air Force Boeing KC-46 Pegasus aerial refueling plane connects to a F-35 fighter jet over California, January 22, 2019. (Wikipedia, public domain, US Air Force photo by Ethan Wagner)

The United States will reportedly sell Israel aerial refueling planes, marking the first time it has agreed to do so.

According to a Channel 12 news report Tuesday, Israel is looking to purchase eight Boeing KC-46 Pegasus aircraft, which the US Air Force first received earlier this year.

The planes would replace the Israeli Air Force’s current fleet of aging refueling planes, which includes KC-130 Hercules and converted Boeing 707s.

The report said Israel would buy the planes using the $3.8 billion in US defense aid it receives annually, with the total cost of the aircraft topping $1 billion.

The IAF is expected to begin receiving the planes in another two years, the network reported.

“Just like for the US Air Force, for the Israeli Air Force [the KC-46] gives it the ability to reach out and do whatever they need to do at any time, be it humanitarian or combat operations,” a US Air Force lieutenant colonel told Channel 12.

According to a report from the Globes business daily in August, Boeing would not grant Israel Aerospace Industries permission to convert used 767s into tanker planes, which would be significantly cheaper than purchasing new KC-46s.

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