Israel, US sign deal for 12 helicopters and refueling aircraft

Israel’s Defense Ministry has signed an agreement with the US government to acquire 12 Lockheed Martin CH-53K helicopters and two additional Boeing KC-46 refueling aircraft.
The  US Defense Department’s Procurement Delegation signed the letters of acceptance (LOAs) with Israel on Thursday evening to replace the Israel Air Force’s CH-53 Yasur heavy-lift helicopters and Ra’am (Boeing 707) tanker aircraft that are required for long-range missions.
“These procurement agreements are significant milestones in the IDF’s force buildup processes,” said Defense Minister Benny Gantz. “We continue to strengthen our capabilities and to change and adapt our Air Force to face future challenges both near and far.”
The deal regarding the helicopters is estimated at USD $2 billion with the first expected to arrive in Israel throughout 2026 and the option to procure an additional six helicopters. The agreement was signed with the US Navy by the head of the Defense Ministry Mission to the US Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Michel Ben Baruch.