Israel’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) Mission has signed an agreement with the US Government to procure 12 Lockheed Martin-Sikorsky helicopters.

Alongside, Israel will also procure two Boeing KC-46 refuelling planes.

The combined value of the deal, which also includes an option to procure six additional helicopters, stands at around $3.1bn.

In its official Twitter account, Israel Ministry of Defense posted: “The Ministry of Defense Mission to the US signed an agreement (LOA) with the US government for the purchase of 12 Lockheed Martin-Sikorsky helicopters, and an additional agreement for the procurement of two Boeing KC-46 refuelling aircraft.

“The procurement of these platforms is part of a wider MOD programme to strengthen the capabilities of the IDF and preparedness to face current and developing threats.”

The initial set of helicopters is expected to arrive in Israel in 2026.

These will replace the Israeli Air Force’s Sikorsky CH-53 Yasur helicopters.

On 30 December, Air Force materiel chief Brigadier-General Shimon Tsentsiper told Israel’s Army Radio that the ordered refuelling aircraft would not be delivered any time before 2025.

However, he added that the country was attempting to receive both The Boeing KC-46 refuelling planes before the aforementioned time frame.

Tsentsiper added that the Air Force’s existing refuelling capacities are adequate for carrying out its missions.

In November 2021, India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Israeli Directorate of Defence Research and Development (DDR&D) entered into a bilateral innovation agreement (BIA).

This agreement aimed at promoting research and development (R&D) in start-ups and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) of both nations.