The US has agreed to provide Israel with small-diameter ‘bunker buster’ bombs after an earlier request for a larger version was turned down.

Israel’s request for the GBU-28 bunker-busters, which weigh two tons, was rejected by the US military last week.

Instead the US has agreed to sell 1,000 GBU-39 small-diameter bombs as well as associated equipment and services in a deal that could reach $77m.

The GBU-39 is a satellite-guided bomb that is still capable of hitting underground targets but at a lower depth than the GBU-28.

Israel has also requested a range of specialised support vehicles as well as containers, flight test integration, spare and repair parts, support equipment, personnel training and equipment, publications and technical data, US Government and contractor engineering and logistics personnel.

Israel is seen as having a strategic position that makes it vital to the US’ interests throughout the Middle East.

This proposed sale is in line with US objectives to support Israel’s commitment to peace with other regional Arab countries and their efforts to enhance regional stability and promote Israeli readiness and self-sufficiency.

The principal contractor will be Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, Boeing Corporation, St. Louis, MO.

Implementation of this proposed sale will involve multiple trips to Israel by US Government and contractor representatives for one-week intervals, for approximately three years.