Saudia Arabia, Israel and the F-15

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US will sell 82 F-15Es to Saudi Arabia over objections from Israel. According to the article, standoff weapons were the main issue of concern in Jerusalem. Of course, standoff weapons are only necessary if the aircraft is unable to penetrate defended airspace to release weapons directly over the target. Boeing has designed the F-15SE Silent Eagle precisely for that mission, but the company has been careful to point out that Saudi is not a potential customer for Silent Eagle. The WSJ article about Israel’s concerns probably explains why. The irony, of course, is that Israel is a major supplier on the F-15, with the Lahav division of Israel Aerospace Industries providing conformal fuel tanks and vertical stabilizers for all F-15s in service. 

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5 Responses to Saudia Arabia, Israel and the F-15

  1. Moose 9 August, 2010 at 7:54 pm #

    Part of this sale is a carefully calculated effort to get Israel to commit to upgrading its F-16 fleet to F-35s and F-15 fleet to F-15SEs. If we maintain Israel’s QME by just not selling planes in the region, we’re hurting our industry to little benefit (Europe being very willing to step in). As long as our allies int he region are buying, might as well be our industry which benefits.

  2. Robert 10 August, 2010 at 4:01 am #

    Judging from current political landscape in middle east, the sale seems to be aiming at tilting the balance of power against Tehran rather than against Jerusalem.

    It mirrors the sale of E3 AWACS to the Saudi a few decades ago, IMO.

  3. Stephen Trimble 10 August, 2010 at 8:15 am #

    Exactly. The US has long wanted the Gulf Coast Council states to become a NATO-like counter-point to Iran. The concern in Jerusalem may be that Riyadh may someday become another Tehran.

  4. jack pratt 11 August, 2010 at 4:32 pm #

    We need the jobs and to keep the line open! maybe the oil also?? The U.S. is still in need of any ally against Iran?? Jack

  5. Tucson Arizona Realtor 7 December, 2010 at 12:56 am #

    Iraq needs to fix themselves. We are we constantly helping others. Am I the only one that notices the US needs help too?

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