Key point: There are several U.S. weapons systems that Israel would love to have.
With only a few notable exceptions, Israel can buy whatever it wants from the United States, generally on very generous terms associated with U.S. aid packages.Notwithstanding the availability of weapons, however, Israel must still make careful decisions regarding how to spend money. Consequently, Israel can’t have quite everything that it would like, despite the continued good relationship with the United States and its arms industry. Here are a few US military systems that the Israelis could use:
Littoral Combat Ship:
For a long time, the sea arm of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) has examined the potential for warships somewhat larger than the corvettes that have historically dominated the force. As Israel’s maritime security interests increased (the necessity of maintaining the Gaza blockade, and of patrolling offshore energy deposits), this need has become more acute.
Over the last decade, the IDF extensively studied the possibility of acquiring heavily modified versions of the U.S. Littoral Combat Ship design. These would have had significantly different features, mainly making them less modular and more self-sufficient than their American cousins. On paper, the plan made a lot of sense; a high-speed, networked platform would fit in very well with the IDF’s operational concept. However, the necessary modifications drove up the cost of the warship, pricing it out of Israel’s range. Future changes in the market (or in Israel’s perception of need) might well shift the equation, however.