Israeli air force ups pressure for V-22 buy

Tel Aviv
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The Israeli air force will increase the pressure on the country's defence ministry to fund the purchase of Bell-Boeing V-22 tiltrotors, following a positive evaluation of the aircraft.

A delegation from the Israeli service, including pilots and technical experts, recently visited US Marine Corps sites in the USA, to inspect the MV-22B Osprey.

Israeli sources said that feedback from the air force was overwhelmingly positive.

The air force now wants to include an initial order for "limited" numbers of the V-22 in the multi-year spending plan being prepared by the Israeli Defence Force. That wish may not be granted, but as a contingency the service may use reserve budgets to fund the purchase.

Scott Donnelly, chief executive of Bell parent company Textron, recently suggested that up to 12 countries, including Israel, would end up purchasing the Osprey.