Israeli Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi on Monday presented a plan to invest millions of dollars on purchasing sophisticated equipment for ground, navy and air forces, local media reported.
Under the plan, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) will procure new Merkava IV model tanks and acquire sophisticated striker APCs to strengthen the ground forces, according to local daily Yedioth Ahronoth.
For the Israeli Air Force, Ashkenazi decided to purchase a squadron of the U.S.-made F-35, a stealth aircraft that Israel will begin receiving in 2014. The price of each F-35 aircraft is expected to reach 50-60 million U.S. dollars.
In addition, Ashkenazi decided to invest funds in upgrading the Air Force's current fleet as well as strengthening Israel's unmanned aerial vehicles.
The Jerusalem Post also reported that a number of classified projects intending to enhance Israel's long-arm capacities will also receive funding.
The Israeli navy will receive two new Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) developed by Lockhead Martin, at a cost of some 250 million dollars a piece. The ship is planned to be the most advanced missile ship in the world for close-to-coast military operations.
Ashkenazi said the IDF also decided to speed up the development of anti-Qassam missile defense systems and allocated a significant amount of money for the Iron Dome system currently under development by Rafael, as well as the Arrow anti-ballistic missile defense system.
"The plan strengthens the IDF's might and its capability to face the challenges facing the country," Ashkenazi was quoted by Yedioth Ahronoth as saying.
The plan, drafted after the Israel-Hezbollah conflict last summer, will be presented to the political echelons and is expected to be implemented in January 2008.
The United State recently pledged that it would provide Israel with 30 billion dollars in military aid over the next decade.
Last Mod: 04 Eylül 2007, 08:35