Israel has approved a budget of five billion shekels ($1.5 billion) to purchase high-powered weapons and equipment in preparation for a possible attack against Iranian nuclear facilities, The Times of Israel reported, citing a local television report.
Around $600 million will be added to the previous $900 million budget for acquiring aircraft, intelligence-gathering drones, and weapons that can destroy heavily fortified underground sites.
The report follows a US Air Force announcement that it has successfully tested its new 5,000-lb (2,267-kg) GBU-72 Advanced 5K Penetrator, which can destroy underground bunkers such as Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities.
In September, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi revealed that his country has “greatly accelerated” preparations for potential action against Iran’s nuclear program.
“It’s a very complicated job, with much more intelligence, much more operational capabilities, much more armaments. We’re working on all these things,” he said.
Wary of Iran Threat
Earlier this year, the Israeli government announced that it had approved a $17.5 billion defense budget for 2022 to be used in bolstering the country’s military capabilities, which have been “challenged on many fronts.”
According to Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Iran and its nuclear program continue to be the most significant threat Israel faces. He pointed out that the IDF must allocate most of its resources to address such threats.
“We see that Iran is advancing toward the level of enrichment that would allow it, when it wished, to become a threshold state — and we are making every effort to prevent that,” he stressed.
Gantz further stated that his country will continue to invest in its offensive and defensive capabilities, maintain its technological superiority, and ensure that Israel will always be capable of defending its citizens with its armed forces.