Buying 4 US Advanced Tanker Planes, Israel Is More Ready to Attack Iran's Nuclear Sites

Buying 4 US Advanced Tanker Planes, Israel Is More Ready to Attack Iran's Nuclear Sites
Buying 4 US Advanced Tanker Planes

Tel Aviv - Israel has officially purchased four KC-46 multi-mission refueling tanker aircraft from Boeing, the United States (US). The support of the four sophisticated aircraft will make the Zionist military more ready to attack Iran's nuclear sites.

The four KC-46 aircraft will help Israeli fighter jets, including the F-35 Adir, expand their attack range as they can perform aerial refueling. Citing the Jerusalem Post, Friday (2/9/2022), the Israeli Air Force (IAF) has signed a contract with Boeing to purchase the four tanker aircraft in a deal worth $927.5 million.

The four new planes will begin arriving in Israel in 2025. They will replace the IAF's aging fleet of Re'em Boeing 707 tankers, aircraft that have flown in various guises for more than half a century. The deal covers tanker aircraft service support, maintenance and repair, logistics and spare parts.

The planes, which are based on the veteran Boeing 767 wide-body aircraft, will be built by the company in Seattle. "This contract further strengthens the US-Israel alliance and continues the decades-old relationship between Boeing and the Israeli Air Force," said Ido Nehushtan, Boeing Israel president and former IAF commander. "The KC-46A will benefit Israel's efforts to ensure national security and regional stability," he said.

A Boeing KC-46A Pegasus sits on the tarmac at Boeing facilities at Boeing Field in this aerial photo in Seattle

The US government approved the sale of eight KC-46 tankers in March 2020, and in February last year, Israel signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) for two aircraft, converting it to two more by December 2021.

Defense Secretary Benny Gantz said he had supported "important procurement" projects for the past two years in coordination with the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Justice. The IAF has for several years wanted to buy tanker planes but delays in signing the contract have raised concerns among the military, especially as Israel continues to warn of dangers in a nuclear deal Washington might sign with Tehran.

IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Aviv Kohavi has made it clear that he views reviving the 2015 nuclear deal as a dangerous move and has said publicly that he has asked for a new operational plan to be drawn up to attack Iran and give up its nuclear program, if necessary.

The IAF's fleet of Re'em aircraft converted from civilian aircraft decades ago are still classified—they have served as refueling and as transport aircraft for years.

The much newer KC-46 has a range of 11,830 km and can deliver nearly 5,500 liters of fuel (1,200 gallons) per minute via a 55-foot-long (nearly 17-meter) fly-by-wire boom. It can also mount external fuel pods on the wings to allow three jets to refuel simultaneously, all in three to four minutes.

The refueling fuel tank is reinforced with ballistic armor to withstand incoming fire. The aircraft also carries IR countermeasures, RF alerts, threat avoidance systems, and NVIS (Night Vision Imaging System) lighting which allows it to land in complete darkness, providing a very broad covert capability. Israel will also be able to add its own electric warfare countermeasures system to the aircraft.

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