Military Aviation

Israel selects the F-15IA to supplement its F-35 fleet

The first F-15IA will be delivered to Israel in 2023

Ynetnews reports that Israel has decided on getting the F-15IA to supplement its F-35 fleet.

Israel Air Force (IAF) in fact has decided to upgrade its dependable F-15 fleet with improved model capable of carrying 13 tons of explosives with advanced avionics in addition to continuing purchasing F-35 multirole stealth fighters.

The first aircraft will be delivered to Israel in 2023.

Noteworthy F-15IA’s performance will be far superior to that of the older F-15I which has been in IAF use since 1998.

Indeed, the new F-15 can fly longer distances, has higher survivability, more advanced avionics systems, and a much better ordnance-carrying capacity.

Actually in addition to 28 heavy, smart bombs the aircraft has the capability to carry all the weapons at the IAF’s disposal, including unique Israeli-made missiles, laser and electro-optical systems, and more.

The plane was built by Boeing for the air forces of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and initially the U.S. Air Force (USAF), through which the IAF purchased the planes, pressed Israel not to request to purchase the jets.

The Americans in fact had an interest in continuing the development of the stealth F-35 line, which have been acquired by the U.S. military’s air and naval forces.

In the past year the USAF has begun to take an interest in the new F-15IA plane, which gave Israel the green light to enter negotiations for its purchase. It seems as though the Americans have agreed to supply Israel with the new plane on condition that it will continue purchasing the F-35 stealth attack aircraft.

According to Ynetnews, the IAF emphasized that the new F-15 will not completely replace the F-35 stealth fighter, but is intended to reinforce the systems currently in place to enhance the range of capabilities to an optimal position vis-à-vis its missions—from Iran to Gaza.

As reported in a document presented by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to outgoing Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman recently, the IAF intends to complete the purchase of the third stealth squadron at a lower rate—with up to three planes a year. Once the third squadron is complete, approximately in 10 years time, the IAF will have at least 75 F-35 stealth aircraft at its disposal.

Photo credit: Boeing and TSGT KEVIN J. GRUENWALD / U.S. Air Force

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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