In 1960 the first production Jet Commander flew (GE CJ610 engines) and was sold to the Japanese newspaper chain Ashai. When North American and Rockwell merged in 1967, the Justice Department insisted that the new firm divest itself of Rockwell's rights to the Jet Commander. The Government felt that common ownership of two bizjet designs - the Commander and North American's existing Sabreliner - would give North American Rockwell a dominance on the market. For a variety of reasons (the Sabreliner's origin as a military project was mentioned most frequently), the Government decreed that the Commander must go.
The entire project, including tooling, was bought by Israeli Aircraft Industries. The Aero Commander introduced Model 1121, was modified to become the Israel Aircraft Industries 1123 and in 1976 was offered by IAI with Garrett turbofan engines as the 1124 Westwind and its successor, the Westwind 1.