Israel ditches Apache upgrade plan, commits to CH-53K

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Neil, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

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    Israel military development

    Israel ditches Apache upgrade plan, commits to CH-53K

    The Israeli air force has decided against upgrading more of its Boeing AH-64A Apache attack helicopters to the manufacturer's Longbow configuration, citing budget restrictions.

    Rather than modify its legacy aircraft to the D-model standard, the service will instead equip the type with new weapons, the air force says. One of the systems under consideration is a locally made laser-guided rocket.

    Israel's active inventory of new and rebuilt AH-64Ds totals 17 aircraft, with Flightglobal's HeliCAS database listing the service as also operating 30 A-model Apaches.

    The upgrade path had been considered in preference to buying new aircraft from Boeing. But despite the decision not to proceed, a senior air force source says the service's current fleets of Apaches and Bell AH-1 Cobras are able "to do the missions" required.

    Meanwhile, the air force will continue to operate its current Sikorsky CH-53 transport helicopters until it can acquire the next-generation CH-53K. All other alternatives "were evaluated and dismissed", an air force source says.

    Israel is already conducting a 2025 upgrade programme to its CH-53s, and the source says: "If needed we will prolong the life of this excellent platform until its successor is ready."

    The US Marine Corps has a requirement for 200 CH-53Ks, with the service expecting the programme to undergo its critical design review "this summer".

    Sikorsky should fly its first prototype in fiscal year 2013, with deliveries to the USMC anticipated to start in FY2015-16 and initial operating capability to be declared in 2018.

    To be powered by three General Electric GE38-1 engines, the CH-53K will have a maximum take-off weight of 39,900kg (88,000lb).

    Separately, Israel has held preliminary talks with Lockheed Martin about acquiring more C-130J tactical transports. The nation will receive its first example in mid-2013 under a $98 million contract confirmed in April, with its initial requirement also covering a further two.

    "We want to include additional C-130Js in the next multi-year procurement programme of the Israeli defence forces," a senior air force source confirms. The service has previously outlined a requirement for six stretched-fuselage C-130J-30s to replace its remaining C-130Es.

    http://www.flightglobal.com/assets/getAsset.aspx?ItemID=23589 [check out the pic...]

    http://www.flightglobal.com/article...es-apache-upgrade-plan-commits-to-ch-53k.html
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010
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  3. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

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    Israel shelves tanker replacement plans

    The Israeli air force has shelved plans to find a near-term replacement for its Boeing 707 tankers.

    A senior air force source says that after evaluating the possible alternatives, a decision has been taken to retain the current fleet of converted aircraft. Other options under consideration had included modifying Boeing 767s and the Gulfstream G550 business jet, which has already been adapted for Israeli use as a surveillance platform.

    The air force's existing 707 tankers were converted by Israel Aerospace Industries and two years ago underwent a Honeywell glass cockpit upgrade. This introduced six multifunction displays, new communications equipment and a global air traffic management system.

    Separately, work was also performed to replace the Israeli-made boom previously used by the aircraft with the same design installed on the US Air Force's KC-135 fleet.

    Despite the decision to not replace its ageing fleet, the air force's current tankers are "sufficient" to support the service's missions, the source says

    http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2010/07/07/344145/israel-shelves-tanker-replacement-plans.html
     
  4. Rahul Singh

    Rahul Singh Senior Member Senior Member

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    May be we can ask Israelis to join LCH program and replace AH-1 with LCH. These choppers are in same weight class and with Israeli weapons and avionics(i know most on LCH is Israeli) LCH can become great replacement. But question remains, will US agree?
     
  5. Agantrope

    Agantrope Senior Member Senior Member

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    This will not happen in dream; Unkil wont leave their pie on it.
     
  6. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

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    the real problem is that Israel is having budget constraints and hence many defense projects are being cut/delayed so the question of them joining us is quite unlikely....
     
  7. Rahul Singh

    Rahul Singh Senior Member Senior Member

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    If Israelis join LCH program then they will save huge amount of money. Anyday LCH will cost significantly less than any US chopper. Since they will put their own avionics and weapons they will retain their spending plus if IAF and IA selects their avionics suit and weapons package then they will actually be making money. And if LCH makes into third country then money earned will be enough to forget money spent in buying LCH.
     

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