CH-53K helicopter
CH-53K helicopterISTOCK

The US State Department said on Friday it has approved the potential sale of 18 CH-53K heavy lift helicopters to Israel in a deal valued at up to $3.4 billion, Reuters reported.

The package would include engines, navigation systems, weaponry, support equipment, spares and technical support. Lockheed Martin Corp and General Electric Co are the prime contractors on the deal.

The State Department said in a statement quoted by Reuters that "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."

The US regularly provides Israel with defense aid, with the House Appropriations Committee having recently approved the annual Department of Defense funding bill for 2022, which includes $500 million for joint US-Israel missile defense programs and vital funding for the Iron Dome anti-missile system.

A 2016 memorandum of understanding signed between the Obama administration and the Netanyahu government guarantees Israel $38 billion in security assistance over 10 years, protecting the assistance from the whims of any current or future president.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)