Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed existing and developing cooperation with Boeing Defense, Space and Security CEO Ted Colbert in Jerusalem on Sunday.
During their meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office, the two men also talked about future defense deals and the future of the global aerospace industry, including the “main points of developments and innovations in the near and distant future,” according to a government statement.
Speaking to reporters at Boeing’s Tel Aviv offices, Colbert said, “It is absolutely, positively clear that we remain committed to serving Israel. This is expressed through two big programs we have right now which we are working on—the F-15IA and the KC-46.”
Israel’s Ministry of Defense formally requested in January the purchase of 25 Boeing F-15EX Eagle II heavy fighters, which will receive the designation F-15IA in the Israel Air Force.
It also requested an upgrade of 25 of its F-15I Ra’ams, Israel’s equivalent of the F-15E Strike Eagle, to a configuration similar to the F-15EX, Breaking Defense reported.
In Sept. 2022, Israel put in a purchase for four KC-46A air-to-air refueling tankers to replace its repurposed Boeing 707s.
The fleet modernization program is generally viewed as signaling Israel’s seriousness about a possible long-range strike against Iran and its nuclear weapons program.
Asked about the F-15IA’s ability to counter Iranian air defenses, Colbert said that from an “air dominance perspective, it has the ability to carry out” any mission.