By Arie Egozi
The Israeli ministry of defence will submit a formal request to the US administration for the purchase of a number of Boeing KC-46A aerial refueling aircraft before the end of the month.
The letter of request (LOR) and the Letter of agreement (LOA) will be submitted “in a matter of days” according to an Israeli source.
The acceleration of the process is a result of the pressure applied by the Israeli AirForce (IAF) to select new aerial refueling aircraft.
The consequences of the delayed selection of a new aerial refueling aircraft for the IAF became clear when one of the current fleet of aerial refueling, a converted Boeing 707, was phased out last week after 34 years in the IAF. The 707 was manufactured in 1959.
The rest of the IAF’s 707 aerial refueling aircraft are also very old and the need for a replacement is urgent.
By issuing an LOR, and LOA, the Israeli ministry of defence will formally begin the FMS process.
The IAF is in an urgent need for 6-8 aerial refueling aircraft to replace the current very old converted 707 (Reem). Some of these aircraft are 59 years old.
The source said that the first contract will include two KC-46 A.
He added that Israel may ask the US Air Force to re allocate two aircraft from the production line so that deliveries will be 2021.