U.S. to Sell More Bunker-Busting Bombs to Israel
by Zach Pontz
The Pentagon has notified Congress it plans to sell Israel $647 million worth of munitions to Israel in order to help replenish its military supply following Operation Pillar of Defense.
The sale will include 6,900 precision bomb kits sent to the Israel Air Force, as well as 3,450 one-ton bombs, 1,725 551-pound bombs, 1,725 BLU-109 bunker-buster bombs and 3,450 GBU-39 bunker-buster bombs, Haaretz reported.
The BLU-109 is designed to “defeat an enemy’s most critical and hardened targets,” such as protected weapons storage sites, and penetrate as much as six feet of reinforced concrete, according to a U.S. Air Force fact sheet, Bloomberg reports.
The GBU-39 bombs are designed to penetrate three feet of reinforced concrete and can be launched more than 60 nautical miles from a target, according to a fact sheet from Chicago-based Boeing. The U.S. has sold the weapons to Israel previously, Bloomberg reports.
The additional weapons “could be an effort to give the Israeli Air Force a capability for more extended or more extensive air campaigns than before,” said Jeff White, a military analyst with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told Bloomberg.
The move “does not appear intended to transfer any new capability that Israel could use against the most hardened sites of Iran’s nuclear program,” Kenneth Katzman, a Middle East analyst for the non-partisan Congressional Research Service, told Bloomberg.