The US and Israeli governments have agreed to supply 12 Lockheed Martin-Sikorsky CH-53K KING STALLION heavy-lift helicopters and two additional Boeing KC-46A tanker aircraft to equip the Israel Defence Forces. The procurement volume was stated at US$3.1Bn (€2.7Bn). Israel is the first export customer for both aircraft types.

In the scope of the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) procedure, the Israeli Government had requested the delivery of 18 CH-53Ks including a spare parts package worth up to US$3.4Bn (€3Bn). The US Government agreed in July 2021. The 12 helicopters now on order are to replace the CH-53 YASUR operated by the Israeli Armed Forces from 2026. The supply contract includes an option for the delivery of a further six helicopters, which would bring the total to the number originally requested.

The CH-53K is also one of the candidates in the tender for the Bundeswehr’s heavy transport helicopter, which is currently on hold. As far as is known, the process is to continue as an FMS case as soon as funding is secured.

In March 2020, the US Government had approved the export of eight KC-46A tanker aircraft to Israel with a total value of US$2.4Bn (€2.13Bn). The first two aircraft are to be delivered in 2023 with the third and fourth expected from 2025.