Israel's Ministry of Defense and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have chosen to procure Lockheed Martin's CH35K as its new heavy-lift helicopter, preferring it to Boeing's CH-F47 Chinook.
Israel's Minister of Defense Benny Gantz decided to accept the recommendation of IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi and Ministry of Defense director general Amir Eshel to choose Lockheed Martin's CH53K called the King Stallion as Israel's new heavy-lift helicopter. The King Stallion will replace the CH-53 Yasur Sea Stallion helicopters, which have been in service with the IDF since the late 1960s.
Gantz said, "The decision to purchase new heavy-lift helicopters for the Air Force is a significant step in further building up the Israel Defense Force’s capabilities. It is also essential to the IDF’s ability to carry out a wide range of operational activities. The new helicopter is adapted to the Air Force’s operational requirements and to the challenges of the changing battlefield."
Israel's Ministry of Defense said, "The decision was made following a professional assessment that included test flights in all the proposed aircraft, as well as a thorough examination of the various alternatives in terms of engineering, technology, maintenance and other considerations. All details, including the number of helicopters requested, will be brought to the approval of the Ministerial Committee for Procurement as soon as possible."
The cost of the deal for more than 20 of the Lockheed Martin helicopters is likely to be over $2 billion, with each CH35K costing nearly $100 million. The budget for the procurement will likely come out of US military said to Israel. The cost of the Boeing Chinook would have been only $60 million per helicopter but the CH35K is more technologically advanced, has a longer flying range and will provide a smoother transition from the veteran Yasur helicopters, which are also made by Lockheed Martin unit Sikorsky.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on February 28, 2021
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