Israel’s top soldier approves the IDF’s first five-year rearmament budget with accent on infantry
Chief of staff Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi okayed budgeting Monday, Sept. 3, for the introduction of hundreds of heavy “Tiger” armored personnel carriers based on Chariot tank chassis for the infantry. New Chariot-4 tanks and those in use will be upgraded with new active anti-missile defense systems. F-35 stealth strike fighters will be acquired for the Air Force, although no source of financing or timetable was announced. The Navy will acquire two new battleships. Development will continue of the Iron Dome system for engaging short-range missiles and high-trajectory rockets.
Supplementary military aid pledged by the United States is a vital source of funding for the program, which will be submitted for government approval in January 2008.