Israel's Ministry of Defense is conducted negotiations with Canadian company Top Aces, sources close to the matter have informed "Globes," for the sale of the Israel Air Force's IAF) 29 surplus F-16 fighter jets - with each jet selling for between $3 million and $4 million. General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcons were delivered to Israel in the early 1980s and over the past decade have been gradually phased out of service.
The aircraft are battle proven and many of them took part in the First Lebanon War in 1982 in air battles against the Syrian Air Force, when they successfully downed 82 Russian-built MiG 21 and MiG 23 Soviet-built aircraft. Even before the war they downed two Sysrian helicopters in Lebanon's Beka'a Valley, the first-ever aircraft downed anywhere in the world by an F-16. It was also the F-16 that flew the 1981 mission to Iraq and successfully destroyed Saddam Hussein's Osirak nuclear reactor, in one of the IAF's longest-range missions.
The Ministry of Defense's International Defense Cooperation Directorate (SIBAT) is responsible for the talks with Montreal-based defense contractor Top Aces, which specializes in the procurement of older fighter aircraft, which are used in training as "staged enemy aircraft) by air forces and navies. In this case, the F-16s could serve in maneuvers for the US Air Force, which signed a contract with Top Aces last year. The company also provides training services to the air forces of Canada and Germany and owns a fleet of SkyHawk and F-16 aircraft and has conducted more than 80,000 hours of training worldwide.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 29, 2020
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