Source Israeli Defense ministry said that the government returns to negotiations to buy U.S.-made V-22 Osprey tiltrotors.
Israeli Defense Ministry has expressed an interest in acquiring 12 Bell-Boeing V-22 Ospreys again.
Sources also confirmed that Israel requested buy of 12 tiltrotors, additional AE 1107C Rolls Royce Engines, AN/AAQ-27 Forward Looking InfraRed Radars, plus related equipment.
On top of that, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz is pushing for the purchase of Bell-Boeing V-22 Ospreys, an acquisition long desired by the Israeli Air Force but put on hold in February over budget concerns.
Israel has sought a fleet of V-22s since at least 2012 and had planned Israel-specific modifications to the aircraft it would purchase. The U.S. State Department in 2014 greenlit the sale of six V-22B Block C aircraft to Israel for $1.13 billion.
The V-22 Osprey has vertical takeoff and landing capability and the speed and range of a turboprop aircraft. With its rotors in vertical position, it can take off, land and hover like a helicopter. Once airborne, it can convert to a turboprop airplane capable of high-speed, high-altitude flight. This combination results in global reach capabilities that allow the V-22 to fill an operational niche unlike any other aircraft. It can carry 24 Marine combat troops twice as fast and five times farther than previous helicopters, the manufacturer’s website says.
The sale, if it is executed, will mark Israel as the second country after Japan that buying Osprey aircraft. Japan ordered the first five Ospreys aircraft for the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force in July 2015 for $332 million.