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February 16, 2021 3:50 pm

Israel Moves to Buy F-35 Jets, KC-46 Refueling Planes, Munitions: Official

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

Israeli soldiers walk near a F-35 fighter jet after it landed in Israel at Nevatim air base after the Israeli air force bought them at Nevatim in southern Israel December 12, 2016. REUTERS/Amir Cohen/File Photo

An Israeli ministerial committee approved the purchase of new jets, aircraft and munitions from US companies, an Israeli official said on Tuesday, in a deal that would be worth billions of dollars.

“A ministerial procurement committee has approved the purchase of a new F-35 squadron, four new refueling planes, and a large quantity of munitions,” the official said on condition of anonymity to discuss matters still under negotiation.

It would be the first Foreign Military Sale to Israel announced under the new administration of President Joe Biden. Since sales take months to process, the genesis of the deals likely dates back to the Trump Administration.

Israel has been considering the purchase of KC-46 refueling planes made by Boeing Co for some time and has also been eyeing an additional squadron of 24 or 25 F-35s, which are made by Lockheed Martin.

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The Biden Administration temporarily paused some pending arms sales to US allies like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in order to review them.

Although the Israelis have approved the purchase, the US Congress requires notification of major weapons sales before a contract can be signed.

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