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USAF confirms F-15D delivery to Israel

Following the signing of the largest military aid package in US history, the US Air Force confirmed the transfer of 10 Boeing F-15D fighters to Israel.

During the Obama administration, Israel received new capabilities from the US, including 10 F-15 fighters, several Lockheed Martin C-130 cargo aircraft, AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and joint direct attack munitions, according to a White House fact sheet published this week.

The 10 F-15Ds are excess defense articles, rather than foreign military sales, and the USAF has delivered eight to Israel so far, defence sources told FlightGlobal.

The two-seater variant of the F-15 is a trainer aircraft but can also be used for air-to-air combat.

US national security advisor Susan Rice referenced the F-15 delivery during a 14 September address announcing the $38 billion military aid package to Israel at the State Department in Washington, D.C. The agreement, which takes effect on 1 October 2018, pledges $38 billion to Israel over the next decade, including $33 billion in foreign military financing funds and $5 billion for missile defence.

“This additional funding will allow Israel to update the lion’s share of its fighter aircraft fleet, including the acquisition of additional F-35s and F-15s,” she said.

As Israel prepares for the delivery of the first F-35I Adir to Nevatim Air Base in December, the inclusion of F-15s in the deal could affect the mix of F-35s and F-15s in their fleet. While Israel defence officials requested more F-15 squadrons in 2015 as part of a “compensation package” following the US’s decision to lift sanctions against Iran, industry sources later told FlightGlobal that acquiring additional F-15s was unlikely.

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