Israel asks US to sell F-15EX fighter jets

Israel sent a letter of request for 25 Boeing F-15EX Eagle II fighter jets, reports suggest. 

The letter was received by the US government between January 8-14, according to Breaking Defense, which referred to sources close to the matter. 

In case the negotiations are successful, Israel is likely to receive the first new jets in 2028.  

The main reason to request for new jets is Israel’s need for aircraft capable of carrying new bunker-busting munitions, the report states. 

Israeli Air Force (IAI) currently operates over 80 F-15C air superiority fighters and 25 F-15Is, locally-adapted variants of the F-15E Strike Eagle. 

Most of them, as well as IAF’s sizeable force of F-16s, are in operation since the early 1990s. 

In 2016 IAF started receiving fifth-generation Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II jets that have seen heavy use in Israel’s clashes with Iran-backed militias in Syria. 

Initial plans saw Israel acquiring a number of new F-15s along with the F-35s, however, those plans did not come to fruition. 

The F-15EX is the latest variant of the jet, said to feature significant improvements to its avionics, electronics and weapons systems. 

It first flew in 2021 and is expected to replace older variants of the F-15 in the US Air Force. Several other countries – including Indonesia and India – are considering the purchase of the type.

The signature feature of the F-15EX is its ability to carry large amounts of ordinance that can then be guided to the target by jets with superior sensor capabilities, such as the F-35.  

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