Boeing awarded $65 million contract for munitions headed to Israeli Air Force

By David Baugher, Special to the Jewish Light

Boeing has been awarded a $65 million contract from the Defense Department to produce special munitions for the State of Israel.

“The new Boeing contract will enhance Israel’s security and it will also provide skilled manufacturing jobs right here at home,” read a statement emailed from Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-1st District. “This strategic partnership is good for the United States, good for Israel and great news for St. Louis.”

According to a Defense Department website, the contract includes more than 2,700 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) tailkits. JDAMS are special devices that convert unguided missiles into guided weapons. Run through the U.S. Air Force, the contract is a foreign sale for the Israeli Air Force. All the work on the $65.8 million deal will be done in St. Louis.

Roey Gilad, Israel’s Consul General to the Midwest praised the sale in an emailed statement.


“The Foreign Military Sales (The FMS) have been a corner stone in the U.S.A. – Israel strategic partnership since the establishment of the State of Israel 65 years ago,” it said.

The statement said it was vital for Israel to maintain a military edge in difficult times.

“This is true today more than ever facing all the very many challenges of the current Middle East,” read the statement. “This agreement also guarantees the development of cutting edge technology for the benefit of both sides.”

Andrew Rehfeld, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation, lauded the effort for its economic impact.

“Anytime there are jobs that are brought into the St. Louis region by large contracts it’s a good thing for us and for the community,” he said.

Batya Abramson-Goldstein, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council, noted that the deal comes at a key moment.

“This agreement will revital ize Israel’s current defense capacity at a time when tensions in the Middle East are extremely high over Iran’s nuclear capacity,” she said.

Abramson-Goldstein said the economic effect on St. Louis will be a positive one and cited the move as part of a continuum of partnerships between the Jewish State and the region, from Sigma Aldrich’s branch in Israel to Teva, an Israeli-based manufacturer of generic drugs, which has a presence in Missouri.

“We should also remember there is ongoing collaboration in a range of areas, everything from research and development in the areas of agriculture, biotech in general, medical devices,” she said. “There’s really a rich Israel-Missouri connection.”

A Boeing spokesman declined to comment for this story citing client confidentiality.