Acknowledging Israeli concerns, the United States is reportedly to reduce the combat capabilities of the warplanes it is to sell Saudi Arabia.
Israeli officials had voiced unease with the proportions of the arms deal which sees the sale of about 84 F-15 aircraft to the Kingdom, prominent American paper The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.
Security sources in Israel had warned that equipped with the fighters, the Saudis "might turn against us," the Israeli daily, Ha’aretz had said.
Accordingly and in line with Washington’s age-old policy of adjusting its actions with Tel Aviv, the planes are to lose some of their combat-readiness, including advanced long-range weapons systems. They are as well to be fitted with comparably poorer onboard targeting systems.
Also, the US Congress has decided to block some $100 million in aid to Lebanon’s military at a time when Beirut has launched a campaign to prepare its armed forces with requisite hardware against potential Israeli threats.
Meanwhile Israel is to purchase the far more capable F-35, which it could receive from the US as early as 2015, around the same time the Saudis would begin to get new F-15s, the The Wall Street Journal added.