US Forces Israel to Freeze Venezuela’s $100 million F-16 Upgrade Contract
Citing members of the Israeli defense ministry, AFP quotes the Israeli newspaper Yedidot Aharonot to claim that pressure from Washington has now forced Israel to freeze a $100 million contract with Venezuela to upgrade its U.S.-manufactured F-16 fighter jets. DefenseNews has more. Israel replaces most of the original American equipment inside its F-16s with Israeli-designed electronics and other modules, making companies like Israel Aircraft Industries a viable second source project lead and integrator for F-16 maintenance and upgrade deals.
DID has covered the recent back and forth between the USA and Israel over defense-related exports, which came to a head over China’s purchase of Israel’s indigenously-developed Harpy anti-radar UAV and subsequent request for maintenance. By suspending Israel’s participation in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program, Washington was recently able to pressure Israel into essentially granting the USA veto rights on all Israeli defense exports.
UPDATE: See DID’s in-depth report.