TEL AVIV (Sep. 20)
Defense Minister Shimon Peres indicated last night that Israel will soon be receiving the first of the American F-15 jet fighters she has ordered. He also told a meeting of Labor Party and Histadrut leaders here that Israel’s army is significantly stronger than It was at the time of the Yom Kippur War.
Peres observed that there are more soldiers in the army today than there were Jews in the country when Israel was established. He also stressed the integration of diverse groups into the armed forces, noting that only a few days ago he promoted an officer from the Yemenite community to the rank of brigade commander.
Reliable sources confirmed Peres’ remarks on the F-15s. Four of the highly sophisticated American aircraft are scheduled for delivery here early next month. Two will be of the single-seat fighter type and two twin-seat TF-15s, a version designed for training purposes and reconnaissance. Eventually, Israel will receive 25 F-15s, 23 of them of the fighter type.