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Israel may lease up to eight V-22s

Faced with insufficient resources to fund the purchase of Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotors, the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) are instead considering leasing six to eight of the aircraft for the Israeli air force.

Last year the service identified an operational requirement for the V-22, following an evaluation of the type at US Marine Corps facilities in the USA. The IAF had hoped to buy "a number" of tiltrotors for "special operations".

However, the inclusion of funds for the V-22 acquisition in the new multi-year plan for the IDF has been put on ice, thanks to a row between Israel's defence and finance ministries over the defence budget.

A source on 21 August indicated that the IDF still believes there is a requirement for the V-22, and will look at other possible acquisition methods.

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