The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey, a first-rate, one-of-a-kind combat aircraft that can take off and land vertically, is at the top of the list of military equipment that Israel expects to get from the US in the face of threats by Iran and Islamic State terrorists.
As far back as 2012, Israel had requested the V-22 Osprey, a military aircraft that could not only take off and land vertically, but speedily carry combat troops as well. The White House decided at the time not to acquiesce, for fear that it would be used for a strike on Iran.
In January 2014, the Pentagon announced its decision to sell six tilt-rotor Osprey aircraft to Israel in a deal worth $1.13 billion. Exactly a year ago, however, Israel Hayom reported that Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon would drop the request for the V-22.
“Some are concerned that against the backdrop of rattled Israel-US relations, the decision to cancel the purchase will anger the US administration,” according to the news site. “Ya’alon will have to make the case to the US that his decision was made objectively and based on national interests alone.”
Since the signing of the Iran nuclear deal by the P5+1 led by the US, Washington has reiterated its commitment to Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge (QME). In July, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter flew to Israel, as well as to the Gulf States, to assuage fears regarding the Islamic Republic’s nuclear development as well as the growing threat of the Islamic State (ISIS) terror organization.
In Washington last week to discuss security issues and a US defense package with his American counterpart, Ya’alon stated that the US is “Israel’s strategic pillar, and we have no greater friend.”
Carter said that Israel’s qualitative military edge was “a cornerstone of our strategy in the Middle East.”
The new aid package, which includes the Osprey that is capable of reaching Iran, and other first-rate military equipment, reportedly amounts to $3.1 billion. Carter and Ya’alon approved the list, which was presented to US President Barack Obama ahead of Netanyahu’s visit to Washington on November 9.
By: United with Israel Staff
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