The United States is considering an Israeli request to buy 6,900 GPS bombs, weighing up to one ton, as Middle East tensions rise, Defense News reported Tuesday.
The Pentagon notified Congress on Monday of the potential $647 million sale of bombs, the smallest of which weighs 250 pounds.
“The United States is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to US national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability,” said a statement from the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which oversees foreign weapon and equipment sales.
“This proposed sale is consistent with those objectives,” it added. “The proposed sale of munitions will enable Israel to maintain operational capability of its existing systems.“
Israel has similar munitions and can absorb more of them into its arsenal. The additional stockpile may help replace bombs used in the Pillar of Defense counterterrorist operation and also may be linked to possible overall operations in the future, more specifically in case a conflict with Iran breaks out.
The bombs and GPS-guided tail kits, called Joint Direct Attack Munitions, or JDAMs, are built by Boeing.
The proposed sale would also include 3,450 Small Diameter Bombs.
“The notification of the sale comes at a time when tensions in the Middle East are extremely high over Iran’s nuclear program. Israel and the United States charge Iran is seeking to build nuclear weapons,” Defense News noted.
Last month the Israel Air Force staged nearly 1,500 aerial bomb attacks on terrorist targets in Gaza during Operation Pillar of Defense, which was highlighted pinpoint accuracy in bombing operations.