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Procurement a key priority for Israel's new air force chief

The appointment of Maj Gen Amikam Norkin as the Israeli air force's new commander could expedite some of its procurement plans, including for the Boeing KC-46A tanker, Lockheed Martin F-35 and longer-endurance unmanned air vehicles.

During a ceremony at which Norkin assumed command from Maj Gen Amir Eshel, defence minister Avigdor Lieberman said the incomer's main mission is to "make the long arm of the IAF even longer". Israeli sources suggest this statement is directly connected to the nation's recently updated threat analysis.

The air force's most urgent decisions are related to the procurement of more F-35Is, beyond the 50 that are already included in signed contracts, purchasing KC-46A tankers and developing and buying long-endurance UAVs with multiple payloads. The service has also recently shown an interest in acquiring the short take-off and vertical landing variant of the F-35.

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