U.S. Must Expedite Delivery of Aerial Refueling Tankers to Israel

(Washington Times) Reps. August Pfluger, Rob Wittman, Chris Stewart, and Michael Makovsky - Iran has arrived at the nuclear threshold. Deterring Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capability is a vital U.S. national security interest. One critical component of that deterrence is the new KC-46A aerial refueling tanker and ensuring that Israel receives these aircraft as soon as possible. The KC-46A tanker would provide the single greatest boost to Israeli capabilities against Iran and demonstrate U.S. support for its Israeli partner. The advanced KC-46A can refuel three jets simultaneously in three to four minutes and has cutting-edge defensive systems. Israeli KC-46As would be interoperable with U.S. aircraft and would expand U.S. capabilities in the Middle East - without the U.S. having to pay to station and maintain tankers in the region. In September 2021, the U.S. agreed to provide Israel with four KC-46As, but the first aircraft is not expected to arrive before 2025. With Boeing producing two of the aircraft each month and having already delivered 68 tankers to the U.S. Air Force, expediting the delivery of two KC-46As to Israel does not impose an undue burden on the U.S. acquisition process. Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX) is a former Air Force pilot. Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA) is chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee. Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) is a former Air Force pilot. Michael Makovsky is president and CEO of the Jewish Institute for National Security of America.

2023-05-04 00:00:00

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