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Israel to buy six V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft

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Israel plans to buy six American-made V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft for its military, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said late Oct. 31.

“Tonight, I am pleased to announce that we are working with the Israeli government to provide them with six new V-22s,” Hagel told the Anti-Defamation League, a pro-Israel group, in a speech in New York. “I have directed the [U.S.] Marine Corps to make sure that this order is expedited. That means Israel will get six V-22s out of the next order to go on the assembly line, and they will be compatible with other IDF [Israel Defense Forces] capabilities.”

Built by Bell Helicopter and Boeing, the Osprey is currently flown by the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps. Its tilt rotors allow it to take off vertically like a helicopter and fly far and fast like a plane.

The V-22 “will greatly enhance the range and effectiveness of Israeli special forces,” Hagel said.

Hagel announced in April that the Israeli military would become the first foreign force to receive the V-22, but he did not specify the number of aircraft at the time.

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