July 22, 2005

U.S. advises of plan to support Israeli jets

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military on Friday said it
may sell up to $600 million in equipment and services to Israel
for maintenance of the engines on the Israeli Air Force's F-15
and F-16A/B fighter jets.

The sale would cover support for Pratt and Whitney F-100
engines, spare and repair parts, testing, training, and other
services for 10 years, the Defense Department said in a notice
to the U.S. Congress.

The primary contract work, which could be worth up to $600
million, would be done by United Technologies Corp.'s Pratt &
Whitney unit.

"This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy
and national security of the U.S. by helping to improve the
security of a friendly country that has been, and continues to
be, an important force for economic progress in the Middle
East," the notice said.

"The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not
affect the basic military balance in the region," it said.

The notice came as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was
in Israel trying to help smooth out details between Israelis
and Palestinians on Israel's planned withdrawal from Gaza.

By law, once notified, Congress has 30 days to block
proposed foreign military sales, but rarely does so.

The Pentagon also notified Congress of a proposed sale of
two Black Hawk helicopters to Thailand along with associated
equipment and services for up to $46 million. The Black Hawk is
made by Sikorsky, another unit of United Technologies.

Congress was also told of a possible sale of services and
equipment to support F-16 aircraft operated by Bahrain. The
total value of that contract could be as high as $150 million,
the Pentagon said.