Friday, July 27, 2018

Israel to buy F-15, KC-767, V-22 and CH-47!

via Times of Israel.
The Israeli Air Force is planning its largest-ever acquisition in an $11 billion deal being negotiated with the US aircraft manufacturer Boeing.

The deal appears set to include a squadron of F-15 jets with upgraded stealth features, a squadron of cargo helicopters and aerial refueling planes, according to a report in the Israel Hayom daily.

The purchase will be funded from US military aid money, which comes to some $3.8 billion annually, over the next decade as the new planes and helicopters are delivered.

According to military officials, Israel’s Yas’ur cargo helicopters (otherwise known as the Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallions) and refueling planes are thought to be outdated, and their replacement has been a priority for the Air Force.

The Air Force favors replacing the aging squadrons with Boeing platforms over some of the company’s competitors for several reasons, the report says. Boeing’s refueling planes are based on the 767 passenger jet, have a proven record of reliability and can be delivered fairly quickly. Boeing’s helicopter lines, specifically the CH-47 Chinook and V-22 Osprey, mean a single procurement deal can deliver a helicopter squadron with more diverse capabilities.
Story here. 


We'll get to the F-15 buy but that's not what has me shocked.  It's the choice of the CH-47 instead of the CH-53K.

Sikorsky has touted the CH-53K as MUCH MORE than a cargo helicopter (even though its best in class in the West).  They've also claimed that with its avionics its capable of performing as a PENETRATION HELICOPTER to deliver troops into enemy airspace OUT THE BOX!

The Israelis obviously think otherwise.

Which brings me to the V-22 portion of the buy.  Capable airplane if you're not flying into a hot LZ.  It's fast and can fly far.  I imagine the Israelis will run into the same problems that the USMC is facing when it comes to developing an escort for the thing but its obvious that they're looking at inserting Special Ops teams (and extracting them) from far away. 

Let's not be silly.  The Israelis probably already have agents and Special Ops personnel running around Iran as we speak.  I'd even bet they have a few troops in Yemen helping out in that cluster fuck.

The 767 kinda mystifies me.  The Israelis have done tankers themselves.  Why buy one when they can simply build their own from surplus jets that they can easily obtain?

Onto the F-15.  This was telegraphed months ago when we first heard word that the Israelis might buy the F-15 instead of more F-35s.

Don't know what to make of this.

I instinctively want to run with the thought that the F-35 is being viewed as a unique capability and NOT the everyday of war jet that the USAF and USMC claim it to be.

If this is the case then they're viewing it in the F-117 category.  First day of war only.

Does this mean they've crunched the numbers and its not cost effective?  Do their tests reveal that they'd be better served by the F-15 when it comes to aerial combat?  It can't be about weapons load because the F-35 can damn near haul the same amount of munitions that the F-15 can.

Instinctively I get the vibe that this is about something that we don't have visibility on (save me the price thing...the USAF would practically give the Israelis F-35s especially since it would pump up production).

Waiting to learn more but this is an awesome win for Boeing, a stunning defeat for Sikorsky and a puzzle waiting to be solved.

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