Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Israel says F-22 purchase currently not on the table

Israeli defense officials have denied reports that the sale of the F-22 Raptor to Israel is currently under discussion.

In recent days, multiple news outlets claim that the United States has approved the sale of F-22 Raptor fighter jets to Israel to preserve air superiority following the agreement of the United States to sell the F-35 stealth fighters to the UAE.

The story was first reported by London-based Asharq Al-Awsat, which cited internal sources that senior Israeli defense officials subsequently sought compensation: “removing obstacles” to purchasing older F-22 Raptor stealth fighters designed for greater air-to-air combat capability than the F-35.

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Defense officials quickly denied reports adding that the purchase by Israel of the F-22 is not currently on the table – but they declined to elaborate further.

Some military experts also noted that the F-22 is no longer in production, and the U.S. Air Force—the type’s only operator.

Yossi Melman, intelligence and strategic affairs correspondent for the Haaretz newspaper, also claimed the U.S. has approved the sale of Raptors to Israel have no basis in fact.

“These reports are based on an assessment that Trump is willing to do almost anything – including diplomatic and security intervention – in order to promote arms deals and to help friends,” stressed Yossi Melman.

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