Israel: October 2, 2000


Israel wants to upgrade its air transport fleet, replacing the current aircraft (17 C130E and C130H transports and five KC130H tankers) with 12 new C130J medium transports and 12 new C27J light transports. The program will cost about $1 billion, and the Israeli Air Force does not have the money. As the annual US military aid package of $3 billion is spoken for into the distant future, buying the planes hinges on getting the US to vastly increase its military aid package as part of a future peace deal. Analysts are deeply concerned that this is the wrong approach, as a peace deal should be made for its own merits and not as a means of raising cash for needed programs.--Stephen V Cole


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