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US Warms to Israel’s Apache Helicopter Request After Initial Denial

Israel’s push for Apache helicopter procurement from the US has gathered momentum after an initial denial.

Israeli officials re-requested the Boeing choppers during a meeting with their US counterparts, resulting in the application being “advanced and given priority,” Yedioth Ahronoth revealed, citing sources.

The officials asked for “slots” in Boeing production plants in the US for the aircraft’s priority supply, the Tel Aviv-based news outlet added.

Israel’s Apache Pursuit

Jerusalem initially requested the attack helicopters from the Pentagon in December.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant also broached the subject with his US counterpart Lloyd Austin during the latter’s Israel visit. 

After the initial setback, Jerusalem restarted the dialogue through government channels, including a visit by defense ministry director-general Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir to Washington, DC.

Zamir met with senior Pentagon and State Department officials and with executives from major US defense companies last week.

Why Israel Needs Apaches

The Israeli military desires the helicopter to augment its two squadrons of AH-64 Apache 190s and 113s, which have been deployed in the Gaza war since day one.

The aircraft have also been deployed in the past against Hezbollah in south Lebanon and in the West Bank.

“These helicopters currently are flying to the limit of their capacity, and in a scenario of fighting in the north the need for them will increase dramatically,” Yedioth Ahronoth wrote.

Additional Air Platforms 

Israel requested 12 Apaches during Zamir’s visit in addition to 25 F35 and 25 F-15IA fighter jets — the Israeli variant of the advanced F-15EX.

The US has issued a letter of acceptance for the Boeing fighter jets, according to Israel’s Channel 12 and Jerusalem Post.

Jerusalem requested the aircraft in September last year before the October 7 Hamas attack.

Israel has procured a total of 50 F-35s from the US, receiving and inducting 39 of them.

Meanwhile, the additional 25 aircraft being acquired are not expected to arrive before 2026-2027, according to the Jerusalem Post.

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