Israel won’t be purchasing Boeing’s V-22

The Israel Air Force will not be procuring Boeing’s V-22 Osprey due to budgetary issues, The Jerusalem Post has learned.While the military believes there is an operational need for between 12 and 14 aircraft that can take off and land like helicopters but fly like fixed-wing planes, there are not enough funds to procure the tilt-rotor aircraft.The V-22 is designed for sensitive, extensive missions during times of war and for routine use.The IAF is modernizing its squadrons of aging fighter jets and helicopters and believes there needs to be a mix of heavy-lift helicopters and the V-22, a defense source told the Post last year.As part of the new procurements funded in large part by the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Jerusalem and Washington, which would see Israel receive $38 billion in military assistance over the next decade, Israel has purchased two squadrons of F-35 Adir stealth fighters and is currently deciding between Boeing’s Chinook or Lockheed Martin’s CH-53K heavy-lift helicopters.The IAF is also set to decide between purchasing a third squadron of F-35 jets or Boeing’s latest F-15I.As part of the IDF’s new multiyear plan, it will be closing one squadron of fighter jets in the coming year. It also aims to open another advanced IAF squadron of F-15 or F-35 fighter jets.Israel first expressed interest in Boeing’s V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft in 2012. Two years later, the US Department of Defense notified Congress about its intention to sell six of them to Israel in a deal worth $1.13b.But the contract came at the wrong time. Israel’s government coalition fell, and by the time another one was formed, its defense budget was needed for more urgent requirements, such as technology used to detect and destroy Hamas cross-border attack tunnels.Officials from Israel’s defense establishment were given a fresh opportunity to assess the capabilities of the aircraft last year during a joint exercise conducted with the US Marine Corps in the South. In August, the IAF issued a price request to the US Navy’s International Programs Office for the tilt-rotor aircraft.Primarily used by the Marine Corps and the US Air Force Special Operations Command since entering service in 2007, the V-22 has seen extensive action in Afghanistan and Iraq supporting long-range rapid-reaction and crisis-response missions.With a maximum cruising speed of 522 kilometers per hour and an extended range capability of 2,103 km. with no refueling, the V-22 would allow Israel to reach neighboring countries, such as Iraq, Iran and Sudan.The versitile combat aircraft uses tilt-rotor technology, combining the vertical performance of helicopters (such as take off and landings) with the speed, altitude and range of fixed-wing planes, making them ideal for special-operation missions because they do not need runways.