TEL AVIV (Jun. 6)
Defense Minister Ezer Weizman told a group of aviation writers last night that he had no faith in the U.S. ability to limit Saudi Arabia’s use of the 60 F-15 fighter-bombers to be sold to that country and that Israel would have to take measures to protect itself against these planes.
“Israel will not base its security on American guarantees but on its own ability,” he said at a meeting of the Association of Aviation Correspondents from the U.S. and Europe. Regarding American restrictions on the deployment and use of the F-15s, Weizman said “I know that somewhere in Washington this matter was discussed but to the best of my knowledge no decision was adopted on that question.” He said “Israel is making all preparations on the possibility that we shall have to protect ourselves from these planes.”
Asked about Saudi Arabia’s ability to master the ultra-sophisticated F-15s, Weizman replied that “In a world where oil has so much power, one can oil everything,” a hint that the Saudis would be able to buy the technological assistance needed to operate the new planes.