American Emergency Needs May Block Supply of Skyhawk Planes to Israel

Three Naval Reserve squadrons mobilized by President Johnson today because of the Korean crisis will be equipped with the Douglas A-4B Skyhawk jet attack bombers from reserve stocks but it is not known if this will interfere with the delivery of Skyhawks to Israel.

Defense Department sources said the Skyhawks being sent to Israel under terms of a sales agreement negotiated in 1966 were production items newly manufactured. There was no information available, however, on whether the activation of reserves and other emergency measures would cause the Skyhawks designated for Israel to be diverted to fill American military requirements.

The main emphasis of today’s military preparations involved mobilization of air power. At least 372 reserve aircraft will be placed on active duty, manned by the Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard, and Naval Reserve.

(In Paris, Minister of the Armed Forces Pierre Messmer told the Foreign Press Association that there had been no cooperation in the field of aviation between France and Israel since last June. He said no Mirage planes had been shipped from France to Israel since June and that the embargo on shipment of the French fighter-bomber to Israel would be lifted only after the Middle East situation has been resolved.)

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