Israel picks Lockheed Martin's heavy-lift CH53K as new transport helicopter

FILE PHOTO: Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz attends a cabinet meeting of the new government at the Chagall Hall in the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament in Jerusalem May 24, 2020. Abir Sultan/Pool via REUTERS

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel has chosen Lockheed Martin’s heavy-lift CH53K to be its new transport helicopter, the Defense Ministry said on Thursday.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz said the decision was “a significant step” for the military’s force build-up and was essential to its “ability to carry out a wide range of operational activities.”

“All details, including the number of helicopters requested, will be brought to the approval of the Ministerial Committee for Procurement as soon as possible,” the ministry said.

Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Stephen Farrell