Gulf & Middle East
Israel to ask US for world's most advanced jets
Apr 20, 2007 - 4:22:31 PM

Jerusalem, April 20 - Israel is interested in receiving the most advanced fighter jets in the world from the US, in order to maintain its militant deterrent in Middle East, Israeli daily the Jerusalem Post reported Friday.

Israel Air Force has expressed newfound interest in receiving the F-22, a US developed fifth generation stealth fighter jet, and has requested that the Israeli Defence Ministry present the request on its behalf to the Pentagon, said the paper.

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday, that Washington remains committed to preserving Israel's military edge over its neighbours.

His remarks were made aiming at easing Israeli concerns about a planned American weapons sale to Gulf Arab allies.

The post said that the sale or transfer of F-22s to Israel did not come up in talks between Israeli officials and Gates during the latter's visit to Israel Wednesday and Thursday.

The F-22 formally entered operational service in the US Air Force in December 2005 but has not yet been sold outside the US due to a federal law, which bars export sale of the aircraft.

Last March, however, the US Congress lifted the ban on its sale, potentially clearing the path for an Israeli purchase of what is considered the most advanced fighter jet in the world today, according to the report.

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