The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) deployed a more accurate tactical radar system along the southern border with Gaza to warn of incoming mortar attacks. If the new radar array proves to be successful, the government will probably deploy it in other parts of Israel as well.
The current aid package of $3 billion annually from the United States to Israel is set to expire in 2017, creating speculation on the terms of a new aid agreement. Analysts expect the future deal to be worth between $3.6 billion and 4 billion annually.
Israeli Military Technology
Israel is expanding its maritime capabilities with the introduction of the newly outfitted, rigid-hull inflatable boats to better patrol the Gaza coastline. The small, maneuverable boats, referred to as “wasps“, can be outfitted with increased ammunition for their MAG 7.62 mm machine guns and are fully equipped with depth charges to combat Hamas naval commandos.
The Shin Bet security agency is flying unmanned aerial systems in order to conduct safer and more accurate surveillance over both Gaza and the West Bank.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) unveiled an advanced UHF Active Electronically Scanned Array Radar to increase Israel’s aerial detection capabilities at medium, long, and very long ranges. The transportable units are outfitted to support all defense layers and give extremely accurate and up-to-date information on aircrafts, missiles, and UAVs.
India and Israel are continuing their collaboration to design a MR-SAM (Medium-range surface-to-air missile) for the Indian Army. Cooperation over the past 15 years has been worth $10 billion between the two countries and India is also interested in replicating Iron Dome.
The Indian military has begun testing the Barak 8 missile, which they commissioned Israel to upgrade in 2009 for approximately $1.1 billion. The defense system can intercept incoming missiles as well as other aircrafts from as close at 500 meters away and is seen as a crucial step in India’s naval dominance.
Spain is currently considering separate American and Israeli bids to build the country’s first major drone fleet. The estimated $337 million project is expected to be completed by 2017. General Atomics and IAI are both competing for the contract, with the government expected to pick a proposal the deal before November. The project is considered to be a “stopgap” to the EU drone program set for 2025.
French President Francois Hollande, left, Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron, center, and Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi chat after posing for a picture at the G7 summit on June 7, 2015. (Photo: AFP)
The Czech Ministry of Defense has released plans to acquire 3-D mobile radars from Israel’s Elta Systems for $240 million. Elta Systems is a subsidiary of IAI and is expected to begin delivery in 2017 if a finalized agreement is reached.
Egypt has agreed to buy 46 MIG-29 multirole fighters from Russia in a $2 billion agreement.
The State Department has approved a $100 million sale to Egypt of the Border Security Mobile Surveillance Sensor Security System. The main contractors include Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and the Finmeccanica subsidiary, DRS Technologies. The deal is part of Egypt’s plan to strengthen its border with Libya.
The Turkish government has announced a national airplane construction project known as “A Turk in the Sky,” which aims to produce indigenous jets by 2019. The planes will be used by commercial airlines as well as military transport aircrafts, VIP planes, and air ambulances. The aim of this initiative is to create an independent defense industry within Turkey.
Turkey and Qatar signed a military agreement that promotes intelligence sharing between the two countries while also allowing for the deployment of forces in each other’s territory. The deal also opens up the lucrative Gulf security market to the Turkish Defense Ministry.
The “Ferocious Falcon 4” Military Drill concluded in Qatar on May 26 after an 8-day exercise was undertaken by 27 different countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and France as observers. The drill took place at the National Defense and Crisis Management Center and participating countries practiced rescuing a hijacked civilian aircraft located on the site.
The State Department agreed to a $130 million sale of Guided Bomb Units (GBU-31s and GBU-12s) as well as associated equipment, parts, and logistical support to the United Arab Emirates.
General Dynamics was awarded a $69.8 million contract to provide the Hydra-70 rocket system to Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Iraq. The estimated date of completion is September 20, 2020.
The United Kingdom is sending an additional 125 military trainers to Iraq to counter the rising threat from the Islamic State. They will help train Iraqi forces on how to respond to improvised explosive devices (IEDs), doubling the number of British troops operating in Iraq.
Orbital Alliant Techsystems Inc. has been awarded a not-to-exceed $26 million firm-fixed price contract for support of the Lebanon Cessna 208B Caravan Program. The Contractor will provide one commercial Cessna 208B Caravan with a Garmin 1000 baseline glass cockpit, avionics package and Pratt & Whitney PT6A-140 turboprop engines.
A Cessna 208 (Photo: QME)
The Lebanese Army has received a shipment of anti-tank missiles from the U.S government. An unknown number of BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missiles and their launch pads were received on May 31st. The Lebanese Army is currently assessing the possibility of liberating the outskirts of the northeastern town of Arsal which has come under the control of jihadi militants.
The State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to Lebanon for AGM-114 Hellfire II missiles and associated equipment, parts and logistical support for an estimated cost of $146 million. The Lebanese government requested the possible sale of 1,000 missiles, containers, repair and return, spare and repair parts.
Odds and Ends
The Interim Jubba Administration of Somalia has received military vehicles donated by the UAE, including RG-31 armored personnel carriers. The UAE maintains a healthy relationship with the Interim Jubba Administration and is helping to rebuild the Somali military in an effort to restore order and stability to the Horn of Africa.
Evidence has emerged showing that the Libyan National Army (LNA) is continuing to receive aircraft and armored vehicles from Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. The LNA is an alliance between military units and militias that is fighting on behalf of the Tobruk-based government against the Islamist militants and the Libya Dawn coalition that fights on behalf of the rival Tripoli-based government. Egypt has apparently supplied five MiG-21s and the UAE has donated additional Mi-35 assault helicopters in April of this year. Rumors of other armored vehicles making their way into the LNA arsenal include the Panthera T6, which was displayed at the IDEX 2013 show in Abu Dhabi, created by UAE-based Company, Ares Security Vehicles.