The military command has accelerated the drafting of its report ahead of
its deadline in August. The recommendations must be approved by Chief
of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
The Air Force has proposed procuring at least two fighter-jet squadrons,
or about 50 planes, to enable the military to fight on several fronts
simultaneously. The sources said options included either the F-15
fighter-jet or the F-16 multi-role platform, the latter being the staple of
the Israel Air Force.
Other options included the procurement of unmanned aerial vehicles for
intelligence and combat operations. The sources also cited a proposal for
the G-550 special missions aircraft, used for intelligence and electronic
For its part, the Army has recommended additional main battle tanks and
armored personnel carriers. The sources said the army has argued that these
assets could be used against both enemy ground forces as well as revolts in
the West Bank.
The sources said Gantz has been cautious in responding to the
recommendations. They said the chief of staff did not want the discuss any
debate on a multi-front war in an effort to maintain regional calm.
"His approach is that the military should move slowly and not go on a
spending spree that could spark a regional arms buildup," another source