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Israel steps back from V-22 purchase

The Israeli air force has frozen its evaluation of the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey, with a senior defence source indicating that the tiltrotor is unable to perform some missions currently conducted using its Sikorsky CH-53 transport helicopters.

In January 2014, the US Department of Defense notified Congress about its intention to sell six V-22s to Israel. This followed an evaluation conducted by air force personnel, which led to the service seeking a rapid acquisition to support special operations. The proposed purchase met with opposition from elsewhere within Israel's defence ministry, however.

Other potential candidates to replace the Israeli air force's aged CH-53s by around 2025 include Sikorsky's new CH-53K and the Boeing CH-47 Chinook.

Some of the service's current CH-53s have amassed more than 10,000 flying hours, and it expects to continue operating updated examples until 2028.

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