A contract for the supply of four advanced refueling aircraft to the Israeli Air Force, which could be used for possible strike against Iran, was signed with Boeing, according to the company’s statement issued on Thursday.
Boeing KC-46A is considered the most advanced refueling plane in the world. The agreement worth $972 million was signed by the heads of the US Department of Defense and will be financed by American aid funds.
The aircraft will be supplied to Israel’s Air Force starting in 2025-2026 and are intended to replace the Boeing 707 (“Ram”) refueling aircraft that were in use for many years.
As part of the contract, Boeing will also provide refueling support services, maintenance and repairs, logistics, and other assistance to adapt the planes to Israel’s needs “in a way that will ensure full readiness to carry out its missions for the Israeli Air Force,” according to the statement.
“The Boeing Company is proud to be a long-term partner in building the strength of the State of Israel and strengthening the military capabilities of the IDF (Israel’s army),” said James Burgess, Boeing Vice President and manager of the Boeing KC-46 refueling aircraft program.
“Boeing KC-46A refueling aircraft have a proven track record of performing aerial refueling for all aircraft types of the US Air Force and its allies, as well as seamless and secure data connectivity protected with combat-ready defense systems,” he added.
Experts believe that this purchase will enable Israel to conduct a possible strike against Iran amid growing security concerns caused by the emerging agreement between Tehran and world powers aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal. Israeli officials have repeatedly opposed the move saying that it would give Iran funds to support its proxies, including Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, threatening Israeli security.
However, i24NEWS military correspondent Matthias Inbar suggested that until 2025, Israeli forces will not be able to conduct such strikes on their own.
“If they want to operate in the sky of Iran they will need the US army. Until then, they can’t because they don’t have enough tools… The new plane will give superiority to the Israeli army, it already proved in the air its capacities. We can say that until 2025 they will work around the clock to deliver the tools,” Inbar said.