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Vietnam eyes Israeli weapons for air force use

Vietnam is considering a purchase of advanced weapon systems from Israel, with the nation’s air force eyeing an advanced version of the Israel Military Industries (IMI) Delilah standoff-range air-to-surface missile.

The system was included in recent discussions between Vietnamese president Tran Dai Quang and IMI chairman Yitzhak Aharonovitch in Hanoi. Israel has become a significant partner to Vietnam in defence activities.

First used in combat by Israeli Lockheed Martin F-16s over Lebanon in 2006, the Delilah has a range of 135nm (250km) and can carry a variety of warheads. IMI has been upgrading the weapon’s capabilities, based on the operational experience of its domestic customer. The missile is 2.7m (8.8ft) long and weighs 187kg (400lb).

Flight Fleets Analyzer records the Vietnamese People’s Air Force as operating 36 Sukhoi Su-22 strike aircraft and 40 Su-27/30-series fighters.

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