Israel has signed a deal with the United States to buy 12 Lockheed Martin Corp CH-53K helicopters and two Boeing Co KC-46 refueling planes, the Israeli Defense Ministry said on Friday, estimating the total price at around $3.1 billion.
The deal, signed on Thursday, is part of an upgrade of Israel's air force capabilities and includes an option to buy six additional helicopters, a ministry statement said.
It said the first helicopters were due to arrive in Israel in 2026. Brigadier-General Shimon Tsentsiper, chief of material for the air force, told Israel's Army Radio on Thursday that the refueling planes on order would not be delivered before 2025.
|LMT||LOCKHEED MARTIN CORP.||391.24||+4.07||+1.05%|
|BA||THE BOEING CO.||194.27||-9.83||-4.82%|
He said Israel was trying to bring forward the delivery of the KC-46s, and eventually wanted a total of four of them.
Israeli media have speculated that the refueling planes could be crucial for carrying out a long-threatened air strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. Tsentsiper said the air force's current refueling capacities were sufficient for its missions.
(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Alex Richardson)