The world’s largest cargo plane landed in Ben Gurion Airport, carrying U.S. military ‘Osh Kosh’ trucks that were fitted with Iron Dome missile defense system batteries purchased by the U.S. Army before leaving Israel, the Defense Ministry announced on Monday.
In August 2019, The ministry had signed a $373 million deal with the U.S. Defense Department to sell two off-the-shelf Iron Dome batteries to the American Army from Rafael which include 12 launchers, two sensors, two battlement management centers, and 240 interceptors.
Washington wanted to have the batteries delivered by 2020.
The system, developed by the ministry and prime contractor Rafael “will be used to defend U.S. military troops against a wide range of ballistic and aerial threats,” a Defense Ministry statement said.
The unloading of the Russian-made Antonov cargo plane was closed to the press.
This is the mammoth aircraft's second trip to Israel after it touched ground on the Holy Land in 2008.
The Antonov An-225 Mriya was created in the 1980s in Soviet Ukraine and is the heaviest aircraft ever built.
The AN-225 has over 30 wheels, six engines and a wingspan of 290ft. The aircraft has a range of 15,400 km when unloaded and 4,500 when fully loaded.
The aircraft had taken off from Maine and is expected to make refueling stops in Scotland and France.