The US has rejected an Israeli request to fast-track the delivery of two tanker aircraft which had been ordered by Israel, as plans for a possible military option against Iran’s nuclear plan move forward, Ynet reported on Monday.
In October, sources in the Defense Ministry stated that senior Israel Air Force (IAF) officers had requested that the supply of four KC-46 tanker aircraft from the US be sped up, asking that two of the aircraft be delivered immediately. The officers asked that the other two be supplied within the next two to three years.
According to the Ynet report, the IDF hopes to convince the US over the next year.
The US State Department approved the possible sale of up to eight KC-46 tanker aircraft and related equipment to Israel for an estimated cost of $2.4 billion last March, marking the first time that Washington has allowed Jerusalem to buy new tankers.
Israel was set to receive two of the Boeing-made planes by late 2023, and during former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s last visit to Washington, he raised the issue that two of the eight tankers be supplied in the next year.
The KC-46 tankers will replace Israel’s Ram (Boeing 707) tanker aircraft that are required for long-range missions and nearing the age of 60.