With its first two F-35s due to be delivered in December 2016, Israel announced it intended to double the flight range of the stealth strike fighter.
Fifteen officials from U.S. security agencies and police departments recently visited Israel to study counterterrorism strategies and compare tactics with their Israeli counterparts. Participants included executives from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service and officers from the police departments of Chicago, Las Vegas, Austin, Seattle, Oakland, and Miami-Dade.
Tel Aviv-based Roboteam won a $25 million US Air Force contract to provide 250 of its anti-IED Micro Tactical Ground Robots (MTGR) through 2022. The MTGR is a man-portable system that weighs less than 20 pounds, carries its weight in payload, and is built to clear obstacles, climb stairs, and conduct complex maneuvers in extreme terrain.
Israeli Military Technology
Rafael has developed a new trailer-mounted and remote-controlled launch system for the Spike Non-Line-of-Sight (NLOS) multi-purpose tactical missile. For the SPARC system, which is designed to be towed behind lightweight utility vehicles or similar platforms, a four-cell Spike NLOS launcher is mounted on a rotating platform and integrated with a trailer to deliver 360º offensive and defensive coverage out to 25 km.
Israel Aerospace Industries has developed the ELL-8265 radar warning and locator system for manned and unmanned fixed- and rotary-winged aircraft, a “revolutionary” self-protection system that for the first time provides pilots with accurate and actionable warnings of land- and sea-based threats.
The IDF has begun issuing soldiers serving in its special forces units new, customized uniforms, believed to be more operationally effective. The new, button-less uniform shirts are made of a Dri-FIT-like fabric, which moves perspiration away from the body and onto the fabric surface, where it evaporates. The new pants are made from highly durable ripstop fabric and include fitted knee pad inserts. The IDF will also soon outfit its elite soldiers with significantly lighter and stronger helmets.
Israeli nuclear researchers have developed a palm-sized micro-copter drone capable of tracking nuclear radiation in difficult terrain. Developed with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, the micro-copters are essentially undetectable and can collect data on radioactivity emanating from underground sites, even in rugged terrain that can be difficult to reach on the ground or view from space. The current model can travel up to 34 mph for up to 20 minutes.
The IAF is close to completing the full integration of Elbit Systems’ Hermes 900 UAV. With a medium-altitude, long-endurance design, the Hermes 900 can perform persistent intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance, and area-dominance missions while carrying multiple payloads weighing up to a combined 770 lbs.
Israeli Military Sales
Myanmar’s military chief of staff visited Israel, the first such visit in 55 years. Senior General Min Aung Hlaing met with Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot, and President Reuven Rivlin. Accompanied by a delegation of senior military officers, Hlaing toured a number of military industries and bases, including Israel Aerospace Industries, Elbit Systems, Elta, the Israel Air Force base at Palmahim, the Ashdod naval base, and the Gaza Division base.
India will acquire a further two Ilyushin Il-76 transports adapted to carry Israeli-made Phalcon type airborne early warning (AEW) radars and sensors. AEW radars provided by IAI’s Elta Systems division will be installed in the aircraft in Israel, along with the other sensors that comprise the Phalcon system. India has also quietly approved a $400 million purchase of 10 armed Heron UAVs from Israel.
Switzerland’s parliament approved a $256 million purchase of six unarmed Hermes 900 UAVs. Meanwhile, the Polish Armaments Group (PGZ) and Elbit Systems have signed a cooperation agreement concerning the delivery of the Hermes 450 for the Polish armed forces. Elbit will provide the necessary technology transfer and the main components of the UAV will be manufactured in Poland, where final assembly will also be performed.
The UAE Land Forces and Egyptian Armed Forces conducted a joint military exercise titled Arrows of Righteousness 4, which took place in the UAE.
The Italian and Kuwaiti governments have struck an agreement over the sale of 28 Eurofighter Typhoon combat jets. The deal, involving the newest version of the Typhoon jet, would comprise 22 single-side jets and six dual-seat planes.
Boeing was awarded a $131 million contract to provide CH-47F helicopters to Turkey by 2020.
Lockheed Martin was awarded a $376 million contract to provide Hellfire II missiles to Egypt, Pakistan, Tunisia, Indonesia, Iraq by September 2017.
Odds and Ends
Northrop Grumman will provide $32 million worth of upgrades to Tunisia’s F-5 force.
Algeria signed a contract to purchase 14 Russian-made Sukhoi fighter jets. Algeria is one of Russia’s biggest defense customers and already has 44 of Russia’s heavy multi-role Su-30MKI fighter jets in service.