Defense Ministry selects Lockheed Martin's CH53K as IDF's new heavy lift helicopter

The aircraft is essential to the IDF's ability to carry out a wide range of operational activities, Defense Minister Gantz said

Photo: Lockheed Martin

Defense Minister Benny Gantz: "The decision to purchase new heavy lift helicopters for the IAF, after decades, is a significant step in progressing the IDF's force build-up. It is also essential to the IDF's ability to carry out a wide range of operational activities. The new helicopter is adapted to the (IAF's) operational requirements and to the challenges of the changing battlefield."

Today, Defense Minister Benny Gantz accepted the recommendations presented by IDF Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, and Defense Ministry Director General, Maj. Gen. (Res.) Amir Eshel, to select Lockheed Martin's CH53K helicopters as the IDF's new heavy lift aircraft, as part of the IDF's "Tnufa" (Momentum) multi-year plan. These will replace the "Yassur" helicopters employed by the IAF since the 1960s.

The decision was made following a professional assessment that included test flights in all the proposed aircraft as well as a thorough examination of the various alternatives in terms of engineering, technological, maintenance and other considerations. All details, including the number of helicopters requested, will be brought to the approval of the Ministerial Committee for Procurement as soon as possible. 

The concluding discussion, chaired by the Minister of Defense, was attended by IDF Chief of the General Staff, Director General of the Ministry of Defense, IAF Commander, Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin, and Head of the IDF's Planning Directorate, Maj. Gen. Tomer Bar.  

Photo: Lockheed Martin 

Photo: Lockheed Martin

Photo: Lockheed Martin

You might be interested also

A street in the city of Kashgar, Xinjiang, China. Photo: Bigstock

The Xinjiang-Uyghur issue 

Commentary: The issue of human rights in the Xinjiang-Uyghur Autonomous Region, the largest provincial unit in China, is attracting increasing attention from the international community. Let us try to better understand the situation