The Israeli Air Force will establish a new fighter squadron in early August in preparation for the country’s first F-35I delivery scheduled for 2017. Additionally, Israel will be the first foreign country to receive the F-35A, with two of the conventional takeoff and landing planes scheduled for delivery in December 2016.
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter arrived in Haifa on August 9th. The Porter’s presence in Israel serves to strengthen U.S.-Israeli relations by promoting peace and stability in the region.
Israeli Military Sales
The Canadian Department of National Defense announced a $100 million, three-year deal with Rheinmetall Canada to deploy 10 medium-range radar systems produced by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). The new system can detect the source of incoming projectiles at long ranges with enhanced accuracy.
An F-35 fighter jet on a test flight. (Photo: F35.com)
India and Israel have scheduled a test of the long-range Barak 8 surface-to-air missile. The two countries co-developed the system that can intercept rockets, aircraft, and drones. A longer range Barak 8ER is currently under “internal development”.
On August 3rd, Elbit Systems announced that it was awarded two contracts for its MUSIC Directed Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) airborne self-protection systems. The defense countermeasures protect aircraft and helicopters from air-to-air missiles and guided Man Portable Air Defense missiles (MANPADS).
An unnamed European country awarded Elbit Systems a $45 million two-year contract to supply various medium and long-range radios and mobile communication equipment.
India’s Navy inaugurated the country’s first Integrated Underwater Harbor Defense and Surveillance System (IUHDSS) off the coast of Kochi. The IAI-designed system includes Electro-optic sensors and Sonar to detect divers and other underwater activity.
Israeli Military Technology
The IAF announced on July 28th that its Aerial Maintenance Unit had completed a nine-year project to extend the operational life of its Sikorsky CH-53 ‘Yusur’ transport helicopters. Two million dollars were spent on upgrading each helicopter including new engines, communications and navigational systems, self-defense capabilities, and flight controls.
Raytheon won a $180 million contract for the procurement of 200 AGM-154C Unitary Joint Stand-Off weapon missiles for the Navy of Saudi Arabia. Work will be conducted in Texas, Arizona, and Oklahoma, and should be completed by April 2018.
The State Department approved a $5.4 billion sale of Patriot PAC-3 missiles to Saudi Arabia on July 29th. The missiles are used for defensive purposes, and will help maintain the Kingdom’s deterrence capability. Washington also approved a $500 million sale of numerous types of ammunition to Saudi Arabia on the same day.
Kay and Associates was awarded a $41 million contract to perform F/A-18 maintenance for Kuwait.
A F-16 from Bahrain. (Photo: abna24.com)
The possible sale of $335 million of Directional Infrared Countermeasure Systems to the UAE was cleared by the State Department. The system is used to protect aircraft from missile threats.
The State Department approved the sale of $150 million of support, parts, and logistics to Bahrain’s F-16 fleet.
On July 28th, Finnish Military Operations Chief Petri Hulkko announced that 50 Finnish soldiers will begin training Peshmerga forces in the fight against the Islamic State. A camp for the troops will be setup in Erbil.
Four-hundred fifty soldiers with the Army III Corps will be deployed to Kuwait for 12 months to help the Persian Gulf nation combat the Islamic State.
The U.S. Embassy in Cairo announced on July 30th, that they will deliver eight F-16 Block 52 aircraft to Egypt’s air force, and that four more will be delivered this fall, despite the concerns of U.S. lawmakers regarding Egypt’s lethargic approach to democratic reforms. The U.S. also delivered five of 14 ordered tank turrets last week to be used in a joint tank production facility.
Turkey’s military procurement agency, Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM), opened bidding for new manned reconnaissance aircraft. Ankara did not release how many planes would be bought, but an industry source said the contract would be approximately $50 million for the aircraft.