In a move to improve the country’s surface warfare fleet, the Israeli Navy will acquire four Sa’ar-6 corvettes as part of a $473 million deal with Germany. The IDF will also upgrade its Sa’ar 5 and Sa’ar 4.5 with new radar arrays and electronic warfare suites by the end of the decade.
Rafael released video from a recent test showing the Iron Dome shooting down a UAV. The capability to hit targets other than rockets and missiles will help save the IDF money by not relying on costly Patriot missiles to shoot down UAVs.
On June 23rd, the Israeli Air Force awarded officers’ ranks to the first cadets to complete initial flight training on the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 jet trainers. The new jets allow pilots to prepare for surface-to-air missile systems utilized by Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah, as well as, air-to-air combat missions, and air-to-ground attacks.
The IAF received its first two M-346s in July 2014. (Photo: Alenia Aermacchi)
In preparation for potential hostilities in northern Israel, UAV and intelligence gathering squadrons underwent training exercises last month for destroying surface-to-air batteries, eliminating enemy high command, dealing with targets in urban and underground areas, and distinguishing between civilian and military targets.
Israeli Military Technology
Aeronautics Defense Systems unveiled its new K1 UAV suicide drone last month at the Paris Airshow as the project nears completion. Containing a 5.5 lb warhead with thousands of tungsten fragments, its attacks can cover enemy soldiers or vehicles in a radius up to 80 feet. The K1 UAV can remain airborne for 2.5 hours and can return to its handlers in case of an aborted mission.
Elbit Systems has released the Skylark I-LEX, a man-portable electric propelled UAV, for civilian and military purchasers. The new drone includes improved flight performance, encrypted data links, and automatic tracking of stationary and moving objects.
Israeli Aerospace Industries has completed construction on the ULTRA-C1 radar system, which will be phased into service within the next few years. The system is the largest Israeli-built radar array and can identify planes, drones, and even ballistic missiles up to 310 miles away.
Elbit Systems will supply its new SKYLENS heads-up display to turboprop aircraft manufacturer ATR. The SKYLENS allows pilots to take-off, land, and fly in low-visibility conditions, and eliminates the need for bulky heads-up displays and combiner glass. The new display system will be used with the 600 series ATR42 & ATR72 aircraft, and are expected to be certified in 2017.
Israeli Military Sales
Seeking to modernize its 74 TAM main battle tanks, Argentina has agreed to a $111 million contract with Israel. Argentine Minister of Defense Agustin Rossi, stated that the contract includes an agreement to establish joint ventures to oversee future technology transfers from Israel to Argentina.
Elbit Systems signed a $150 million contract with the Dutch Ministry of Defense for advanced wearable protective systems for infantry. The system, called Smart Vest, will allow soldiers to better wage electronic warfare, as well as improve data processing.
Poland has awarded a contract for 50 Israeli-designed MTGRs ground reconnaissance robots as part of “Project Tarantula,” which seeks to provide enhanced visibility in places inaccessible to soldiers. The Roboteam MTGRs is already used by U.S. and Israeli Special Forces and can operate almost 1000 feet away from an operator.
The Royal Saudi Air Force has taken delivery of the final MRTT it had on order. (Photo: Airbus Defence and Space)
The UK Defense Ministry has announced that it will supply $929,000 of military equipment to the Kurdish Peshmerga. The UK government has already sent more than 50 tons of military equipment to the Kurds.
The United States delivered four F-16 fighter jets to the Iraqi government on July 13th. The shipment was originally delayed due to concerns over the Islamic State’s advances near Baghdad last year.
Airbus Defense and Space completed delivery of the six Multi-Role Tanker Transport planes to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia and France have agreed to a $12 billion deal, which includes 23 Airbus H145 helicopters and nuclear-energy technology.
Raytheon delivered a $79 million contract to Jordan that includes command, control, communications, and surveillance equipment to help Amman secure its borders with Syria and Iraq.