Logistics: JP-8 For Israel

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July 26, 2006: With hundreds of its warplanes and helicopters in action, Israel is hustling to get jet fuel that is more suitable for combat operations. To that end, Israel has ordered $210 million of JP-8 jet fuel from the United States. This is the military version of the fuel used in commercial jets. For decades, an older formulation, JP-4 was used. But during the 1990s, the U.S. Air Force developed JP-8 and phased out JP-4. The new fuel was less likely to explode if the aircraft suffered combat damage, and had additives that reduced the wear and tear on high performance military jet engines. On the downside, JP-8 had less energy per gallon, meaning that aircraft range was reduced. JP-8 was also about ten percent more expensive than JP-4. However, for some missions, JP-4 is still preferred, like long range strikes from, say, Israel to Iran. But for the short range missions over Lebanon, JP-8 is preferred. Jet fuel is similar to kerosene, and is usually about 15 percent cheaper, per gallon, than gasoline (U.S. prices.)

 


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