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First of 25 F-15s Purchased from U.S. Due to Arrive Soon in Israel

December 10, 1976
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Israel is planning a ceremonial welcome for the first of 25 F-15 (Eagle) jet interceptors, purchased from the United States at a cost of $625 million, due to be delivered here shortly. The F-15, one of the most sophisticated combat planes in the world, is described as 20 years ahead of the F-4 Phantom jet with respect to its performance capabilities and equipment.

The initial consignment consists of F-15s that have already seen service in the U.S. Air Force but were thoroughly renovated and serviced for delivery to Israel. Premier Yitzhak Rabin, Chief of Staff Gen. Mordechai Gur, Air Force Commander Gen. Benjamin Peled, and other senior officers, dignitaries and guests from the U.S. will be on hand when the planes land at an air base in Israel.

These latest acquisitions of the Israel Air Force will constitute the nation’s long distance combat arm. The F-15 has an effective range of 5000 kilometers, sufficient to deliver significant “payloads” to any target in a potential enemy state. It can reach with ease potential trouble spots as distant as the Straits of Rab el Mandeb at the southern end of the Red Sea. The supersonic aircraft can develop speeds of over Mach 2.5 and has an effective ceiling of 67,000 feet.

Equipment includes a Hughes radar system. said to be a decade in advance of any system in use today. It has a target detection range of 100 miles and a missile tracking and guidance system that automatically eliminates ground clutter from the pilot’s display console.

The plane can carry 16,000 pounds of armaments including an MK-84 laser, infra-red and electric-optic bombs and the BLU-27 series incendiary bombs that President Ford promised to sell to Israel shortly before the U.S. elections last month. The F-15 is also a formidable fighter plane, equipped with Sparrow-type missiles, Sidewinder AIM 9-E missiles and 20 mm. machineguns for aerial combat.

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