US boosts air fleet aid: 1000 MK-82s en route to Israel & Turkey

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Insiders within the U.S. government have spoken to the Wall Street Journal, revealing plans to send approximately 1,000 MK-82 227-kilogram unguided gravity bombs, among other military supplies, to bolster Israel, a key ally in the Middle East

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This decision is propelled by the continuing operations of the Israel Defence Forces against the Palestinian militias in the unstable Gaza Strip, and their skirmishes with the Lebanese political party, Hezbollah, which is also a militia group. 

In addition, the Israeli Air Force continues to launch sorties against neighboring Syria, a situation that escalated noticeably since the outbreak of violence in Gaza in October. 

Necessary precautions

As reported by the U.S. Embassy in Israel, there is keen interest in fast-tracking this transfer to counter threats emerging in the region. From the U.S. perspective, these intended Israeli military operations are perceived as necessary precautions to deter extensive human rights violations. Furthermore, the U.S. regards Israel as a transparent partner, particularly in discussions about the potential misuse of American equipment. 

As recently as 2023, it was revealed that the United States supplied Israel with 100 BLU-109 bunker-buster bombs. Following the conflict’s onset in early October, an astounding 15,000 bombs were shipped to Israel within two months. 

Photo credit: Reddit

Maintaining such a high level of ordinance supply for Israeli operations has provoked international controversy. Many observers outside the Western world accuse Israel of committing war crimes or even genocide against the Palestinian population.

Turkey too 

In parallel to its support for Israel, the United States has also expedited arms supplies to Turkey, a key regional defense ally among NATO members. The Biden administration is eager to fast-track a $20 billion transfer, which incorporates F-16 fighters, avionics systems, and air-launched weapons. 

Keeping pace with the Israeli Air Force, Turkey continues its strikes on Syrian targets and has previously engaged Hezbollah targets as well. A proposal to reinstate Turkey in the F-35 program is also under consideration. Turkey, like Israel, is one of the only nations in the region granted the approval to obtain these fifth-generation fighters, which are significantly contributing to the Israeli war effort. 

While the United States directly arms Israel and enhances its military presence in the Middle East, boosting Turkish military power offers another means to counter Israel’s primary adversaries.


The MK-82 is a type of unguided, low-drag, general-purpose bomb. Often, it’s referred to as a gravity bomb due to its reliance on gravity to reach its target. It belongs to the Mark 80 series of weapons—standardized air-dropped bombs employed by the United States military.

Weighing approximately 500 pounds—or 227 kilograms—the MK-82 includes the weight of the bomb body, the tail assembly, and the explosive content. The bomb measures about 87 inches, or roughly 2.2 meters in length, making it a sizable piece of ordnance.

Mk-82’s warhead

The warhead of the MK-82 is a Tritonal explosive, which is a mixture of TNT and aluminum powder. This combination enhances the blast effect of the bomb, making it more destructive. The warhead itself weighs around 192 pounds, which is approximately 87 kilograms. 

Various types of aircraft are capable of deploying the MK-82. These include fighter jets such as the F-16 Fighting Falcon and the F/A-18 Hornet, as well as bombers like the B-1 Lancer and the B-2 Spirit. The MK-82 is also compatible with unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, thus expanding its range of deployment options.


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