TEL AVIV, BM, ($1= 3.23 Israeli Shekels) – After Tel Aviv chose to purchase Lockheed Martin CH-53K heavy-lift helicopters, yesterday, July 30, the US State Department announced its decision to manufacture and deliver them to Israel in the coming years. The Israeli taxpayer will have to pay $ 3.4 billion to receive 18 new heavy-lift helicopters and their associated equipment.
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In addition to the 18 helicopters, Israel will receive at least 60 T408-GE-400 engines, of which 6 spares, 36 global positioning systems, navigation systems, communication equipment, machine guns Browning model GAU-21 50th caliber, various surveillance and intelligence devices, technical documentation, installation, support in their operation, etc.
According to a document released by the US State Department, this deal is vital for both the Israeli government and US interests in the region. Israel is known to be the largest customer of the US defense industry in the Middle East, often buying weapons technology that is not even in service with the US military.
Israel needed to purchase heavy-lift helicopters, as it currently has obsolete helicopters Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallion [23 units – ed.]. The selection of new helicopters began two years ago when only Lockheed Martin CH-53K and Boeing CH-47 Chinook remained on the final rights.
The new helicopters will increase the combat capability of the Israeli Air Force, and the government will most likely use them to transport heavy cargo or soldiers during military operations in the area and to protect the country’s territorial integrity. According to experts, Israel will have no difficulty in adopting the new Lockheed Martin models, as they have worked on an older version of the Lockheed Martin CH-53K so far.
In addition to Lockheed Martin, contractors for the project will include Shelton, Connecticut; and General Electric Company, Lynn, Massachusetts. The State Department said that due to the size of the order, it would be necessary for American experts to be sent to Israel frequently to carry out the smooth delivery and acceptance of the purchased equipment. The last Lockheed Martin CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter is expected to be delivered to Tel Aviv within three years.
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