Last week, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon visited Washington and New York, meeting with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. Amid reports that he was “snubbed” by other senior Obama Administration officials, Ya’alon aired Israel’s concerns regarding the Iranian nuclear negotiations as well as Turkey’s odious behavior.
US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel welcomes Israeli Defense Moshe Ya’alon at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia on October 21, 2014. (Photo: AFP)
The 900th Kfir Brigade was reassigned from the 162nd Armored Division to the 340th Division, shifting it away from territorial security activities to become an all-purpose, multi-arena brigade. Formed in 2005, the infantry brigade originally helped maintain security in the West Bank, but, over the last 18 months, its battalions have been moved to the northern border with Lebanon.
Israel Aerospace Industries will be providing nacelle structures for the V-280 Valor, the next generation tilt-rotor developed by Bell Helicopter and Lockheed Martin. The clean-sheet design of the Bell V-280 Valor creates the capability to fly twice the range at double the speed of any existing helicopter. The V-280’s tiltrotor technology leverages vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capability into a strategic and tactical advantage for battle planning.
Elbit Systems also won a $12.7 million contract to provide Apache Aviator Integrated Helmets to the U.S. Army helicopter fleet over the next two years.
Jordan selected the Robinson R44 Raven II to replace its ageing fleet of 12 MD500Ds helicopters, which have been in service since 1981. The first four are scheduled for delivery at the end of this year, with the second four to follow in early 2015.
The United Kingdom donated $16 million worth of military gear, including 164 Land Rovers, 1,500 sets of body armor, a secure radio communication network, border watchtowers, and HESCO bastions to the Lebanese Army.
Egypt and the United Arab Emirates conducted their third joint military exercise in eight months. The training mission, known as Siham al-Haq, included ship-boarding, amphibious landings, and parachuting. Egypt and the UAE have conducted airstrikes against Islamist militias in Libya.
Israeli Military Technology
Elbit unveiled the ClearVision EVS, a new six-sensor, multi-spectral enhanced vision system that maximizes detection capabilities by viewing in various spectral bands. These can be combined to optimize visibility and extract the best possible long-range detection capabilities through fog, rain, smoke, haze and the dark of night.
Israel Aerospace Industries has expanded its range of airborne maritime surveillance radars by announcing the availability of its ELM-2022ES for patrol aircraft and the ELM-2022ML for unmanned air systems. Developed by IAI’s Elta Systems subsidiary, the active electronically scanned array ELM-2022ES provides maritime and ground surveillance and imaging capabilities, along with simultaneous airborne surveillance. More than 250 radars from the ELM-2022 range have already been sold to 25 countries, for installation on maritime patrol aircraft, helicopters and UAVs.
Egyptian Minister of Defence General Sedki Sobhi shakes the hand of an RDF soldier leaving for Exercise ‘Siham al-Haq’ in the UAE. (Photo: Egyptian Army)
Rafael unveiled C-Dome, a modified Iron Dome battery that can protect ships from incoming rocket and missile attacks. The new system works in blue and littoral waters and will use the already proven Tamir interceptor.
At the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) convention in Washington, Elbit demonstrated the Spear soft-recoil 120mm mortar, a reconnaissance-strike package for mobile land forces. Spear has a new and proprietary shock-absorbing mount that reduces recoil force from 30 tons to 10, allowing the weapon to be fired from a military or commercial light 4×4 vehicle. Elbit also demonstrated a U.S.-specification version of the Skylark 1LE light UAV, which now incorporates a laser designator and target marker as well as other adaptations. The U.S. Army is also testing a series of hand-launched UAVs made by IAI, such as the ArrowLite.
At AUSA, Elta also presented its Black Granite sensor suite for reconnaissance vehicles and displayed its Green Rock radar system, also known as Wind Shield, which predicts hostile rocket, artillery and mortar-fire origin and impact points, and provides an early warning. It also detects low-flying targets, such as UAVs, gliders and hovering platforms.
Israel’s Automotive Robotic Industry has delivered an Amstaf unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) to the Israel Defense Forces for deployment in Gaza in a border-protection and security role.
The Obama Administration cleared a $600 million sale of 46,000 120-mm armor-piercing tank rounds for the Iraqi Army’s M1A1 Abrams tank fleet. In 2014 alone, the Pentagon has announced nearly $10 billion in arms sales to Iraq, including: a $6.17 billion sale of 24 Apache helicopters and mission equipment, a $790 million sale of 24 Beechcraft AT-6 attack planes, and a $700 million sale of 5,000 Hellfire missiles.
Turkish firm Roketsan and Lockheed Martin agreed to jointly produce Turkey’s variant of the SOM cruise missile for the F-35 Lightning II. The SOM system is an autonomous, long-range precision air-to-surface cruise missile. Prior to the introduction of this missile, Turkey used the Israeli AGM-142 Popeye standoff attack missiles on its F-4E Phantom strike fighters.
Turkey added five ATAK T/129 attack and tactical reconnaissance helicopters to its arsenal. Stationed in Ankara, the choppers can carry 76 missiles, including anti-tank missiles.
Israeli Military Sales
Several weeks after clearing the purchase of 262 Barak missiles from Israel, India has reportedly opted to buy over 8,000 of Israel’s Spike anti-tank guided missile and more than 300 launchers in a $525 million deal. Produced by Rafael, Spike is a man-portable ‘fire and forget’ anti-tank missile.
Elbit Systems has been awarded a three-year, $85 million contract to upgrade the F-5 avionics and supply electro-optic and communication systems to an Asian country, reportedly Thailand.
In a $2.2 billion deal, Israeli company ISDS was selected to manage and coordinate the security of the Rio 2016 Olympics in Brazil, the first time an Israeli company will serve in this capacity in an Olympic event.
As part of its longstanding commitment to Israel’s security, Germany agreed to slash $382 million off the original nearly $1.2 billion cost of Israel’s purchase of three fast missile boats designed to protect Israel’s offshore gas fields.