US Arms Deal With Israel and Arabs Targets Iran

KC-135 Stratotanker

A KC-135 Stratotanker refueling an Air Force jet in 2007.

The US is wrapping up a $10 billion arms deal with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE to help counter Iranian threats. The NY Times reports it’s a complicated arrangement that took a long time to put together out of concern for keeping Israel’s qualitative edge. Israel is ironing out details with visiting Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

While one goal was to ensure that Israel continues to field the most capable armed forces in the region to deter Iran and counter a range of threats, it was equally important to improve the capabilities of two important Arab military partners. Another challenge, senior administration officials said, was coming up with a package that could help Israel deal with various security challenges — but devised so it would not be viewed as an American endorsement of accelerated planning by Israel to strike alone at Tehran’s suspected nuclear facilities.

The deal would enable Israel to acquire advanced KC-135 refueling tanker planes, antiradiation missiles, radar equipment for jets, and the tilt-rotor V-22 Osprey.

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