Oct 31, 2014
Israel said to cancel aircraft V-22 Osprey purchase from US
The V-22 Osprey, was seen as part of Israel’s future capacity to move Special Forces troops to countries as distant as Iran.
The aircraft can carry up to two dozen soldiers, can fly roughly 720 kilometers and, crucially, can be re-fueled in midflight.
US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced the deal during a visit to Israel in April 2013. The deal was to include, Hagel said at the time, anti-radiation missiles, advanced radars for Israel’s F-15s, KC-135 refueling aircraft and, “most significantly,” the V-22.
Ya’alon, decided to cancel the acquisition, against the advice of the IDF chief of General Staff and the Israel Air Force’s commander, on account of budgetary constraints and lessons learned in the wake of the 50-day battle in Gaza this summer, during which a need for improved armored vehicles, for instance, rose to the surface.
The reported decision to cancel the deal came three days after Israeli officials said the army would buy a second squadron of US-made F-35 fighter jets.