The Israeli Defense Forces are set to sell off redundant military equipment including F-16 multirole combat aircraft, destroyers and Merkava MBTs (Main Battle Tanks).
The mass sale is one part of an unprecedented rearmament programme as the country's air force, army and navy attempts to obtain the technologies needed to meet emerging challenges. Should no buyers come forward, the fighters, warships and tanks could just be scrapped, officials suggest.
Included in this disposal programme are early-series F-16As and F-16Bs, which have since been taken over by newer Fighting Falcon models. The Israeli Air Force first got these aircraft in the late 1970s and still possesses close to 100 examples: only the United States has more.
Israeli Military Sales
Also set to be included in the 'Teuza' ('Boldness') Israeli military sales are A-4 Skyhawk light attack bombers, while ground vehicles include Merkava Mk1 MBTs and M60 Patton tanks. The goal of Teuza is to generate $1.9bn in defence savings between now and 2018, allowing the Israeli Defense Forces to put new emphasis on missile development programmes and cyber-attack defence strategies.
The Israeli Defence Forces have existed since 1948 and comprise of three branches: the Israeli Air Force, Israeli Army and Israeli Navy. The IDF's current defence expenditure runs to circa $14.5bn a year - around seven per cent of Israel's GDP.
Israeli Equipment Disposals
According to a report on the Israeli equipment disposals published by Ynet and written by military analyst Yoav Zitun, Teuza is set to '...turn [military] bases into sales lots for tanks, armored personnel carriers, warships, combat flight equipment, vehicle logistics accessories, cannons and air force ballistic systems.'
He added: 'Heavy equipment is expected to remain at bases until it's sold, which can take years. If the military decides it's not worth waiting for a sale, the equipment can be welded down by an external contractor...and sold as blocks of steel.'
F-16As image copyright Israel Defense Forces - Courtesy Wikimedia Commons