Israel purchasing $2.4 billion in new military refueling aircraft from US

The new KC-46’s are experiencing some significant technical issues.

By Aaron Sull, World Israel News

The U.S. State Department approved on Tuesday a tentative sale to Israel of eight KC-46 refueling aircraft and related equipment at an estimated cost of $2.4 billion.

According to the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the sale could be finalized today.

“The United States is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to U.S. national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability,” the DSCA said in a statement. “This proposed sale is consistent with those objectives.”

“In addition, the sale improves Israel’s national security posture as a key U.S. ally,” the statement added.

The DSCA also said that the sale could benefit the U.S. by “potentially” freeing up its assets in the Middle East in times of conflict.

“Just like for the U.S. 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,” an unnamed U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel told Channel 12 news.

If the sale goes through, then the mid-air refueling aircraft will be paid for by Israel from the annual $3.8 billion financial aid the U.S. gives to the Jewish State for defense purposes, reported the Israeli news channel.

However, the new KC-46’s are experiencing some significant technical issues.

The US Air Force has found KC-46’s remote vision system, an essential component to refuel another aircraft, is displaying “significant problems”, reports AFP.

Air Force Chief of Staff General David Goldfein said that the problems are being addressed.

“Right now we are in final negotiations with the company on the fix,” he told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday