Israel remains loyal to the CH-53, an aircraft that has suffered only one combat casualty in 52 years of use.
After the purchase of 2 KC-46A and the future order of a third squadron of F-35s, the MOD has just confirmed the selection of Sikorsky's CH-53K King Stallion heavy helicopter. This aircraft will gradually replace the CH-53 Yas'ur helicopters delivered from 1969, 18 of which were upgraded to the 2000 standard in the late 1980s to extend their 20-year service life, then five others to the 2025 standard, which included new equipment. Two modernizations carried out by IAI and Elbit.
This purchase is notably allowed by the FMF (Foreign Military Financing) which offers the Hebrew state a military support fund of 3.3 billion euros over 10 years. No official information has yet been released on the number of aircraft, the cost of the contract and the date of the first deliveries. If the MV-22 "Osprey" was considered a few years ago, as well as the CH-47F, which is cheaper than the CH-53K, the King Stallion would again have seduced by its ability to withstand the impact of projectiles during infiltration and rescue operations.
While Israel is in a state of permanent war, it has lost in 51 years only one aircraft in 2006 during Operation Grapes of Wrath after an anti-tank missile shot by Hezbollah. And this despite the fact that CH-53s were systematically used to recover Sayeret commandos behind enemy lines.
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