A formal request has been sent by Israel to the United States for buying 25 advanced F-15-EX fighter jets, as the country wants to give its capabilities a boost in terms of fighting Iran.
A report on Thursday revealed that an official Letter of Request (LOR) was sent by the Defense Ministry to the United States last week.
The first step in the process is the LOR, which will now involve negotiations between the United States and Israel about the specific number of the warplanes manufactured by Boeing and their price.
The report disclosed that the decision of bolstering its fleet of F-15 as well as F-35 stealth fighters had been made by Israel in 2020, but they only carried out the F-35 decision because of recent political instability.
A new government is now in place after the latest round of elections due to which they decided to move ahead with the deal for F-15 jets.
The military now wants to upgrade and add to its exist F-15 fleet, as these jets are capable of carrying the heavy weapons that Israel would require for penetrating the nuclear sites of Iran.
Boeing said that the F-15 EX are capable of carrying more weapons as opposed to others in its class. They are capable of launching hypersonic weapons that weigh 7,000 pounds and are 22 feet long.
It was in 2021 that the US Air Force had received the first F-15 EX and it was tested for two years. This week, it said that the jet had done better than expected in terms of the weight and number of weapons it can carry.
The sources said that the earliest those jets would come to Israel would be in 2028, but the country intended to push for a quicker delivery.
Moreover, it is also possible that Israel could demand 50 jets instead of the 25 mentioned in its initial order.
It was also added in the report that the decision had been made urgently in Israel because the defense ties between Russia and Iran are strengthening.
This has given rise to fears that Russia could supply its advance S-400 anti-aircraft defense system to Iran.
Moreover, it also stated that the F-15 fighter jets are used by Israel for targeting the hundreds of thousands of rockets that the terror group Hezbollah operates in Lebanon.
A number of the F-15 fighter jets in Israel, which are called the ‘Falcon’ or ‘Baz’ had been first built and delivered back in the 1970s, but they have been refurbished and upgraded since then.
If the deal moves forward and Israel is able to buy the jets, then it would become the first acquisition by the Israel Air Force of Boeing fighter jets in about two decades.
Since then, Israel has purchased 50 F-5 stealth jets and 100 F-16s from Lockheed Martin, the chief competitor of Boeing.
Aviv Kohavi, the outgoing chief of staff of the IDF, said last week in his farewell interviews that the Israeli military’s main focus was Iran.