The Israeli Air Force (IAF) is working to establish a new fighter jet squadron, as it prepares to take delivery of the country’s first Lockheed-Martin F-35. IAF officials have named Lt. Col. Yotam as the group’s first commander and plan to establish a base for the fighter, codenamed Adir, in southern Israel.
In September, the Hellenic Army’s Aerial Wing visited Israel to take part in a training with the IAF, codenamed “Blue & White Glory”. Six Greek helicopters along with two fighter jet squadrons joined one Israeli helicopter squadron to practice launching attack missions and rescuing downed pilots in the Negev Desert.
Israeli and Russian officials concluded their first round of talks to create a “joint mechanism for preventing misunderstandings” for military operations in Syria. Few details about the discussions were released to the media, however, future meetings will take place among lower level military officers. Moscow has held similar talks with other powers involved in the ongoing conflict in Syria, such as Turkey, amid the Kremlin’s recent military escalation.
Ground attack helicopters participating in Blue and White Glory training. (Photo: IAF)
The U.S. awarded BP a $33 million contract to provide automotive gasoline to the IDF.
Israeli Military Technology
A technician with the IAF’s Aerial Maintenance Unit has pioneered a new way to find cracks on Israeli F-16s using an ultrasound machines designed for humans. The technique saves mechanics from having to disassemble part of the aging Lockheed-Martin aircraft, greatly improving the turnaround time for finding defects hidden inside the F-16 frame.
Aeronautics Defense Systems announced that it’s Dominator XP unmanned air vehicle successfully completed a series of test flights in Mexico. The long endurance drone, designed off of a small civilian aircraft, can carry hundreds of pounds of equipment and specialized sensors. Flying at an altitude of 27,000 feet the surveillance UAV can reach Iran from Israel.
Israeli Military Sales
The U.S. Navy has ordered several transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) systems from the Israeli firm Brainsway. The TMS aims brief magnetic pulses at a patient’s brain and is used in conjunction with other treatments to treat psychological conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.
An unnamed Latin American country awarded Elbit Systems a $70 million contract to provide integrated intelligence information systems for homeland security use. As part of the agreement Elbit will also deliver Hermes 900 UAVs within a year.
The Spanish Government awarded Israel Military Industries (IMI) a $25.5 million contract to manufacture NATO-qualified 5.56mm rifle cartridges.
The Jordanian defense firm King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau (KADDB) showcased a model of their new 8×8 armored personnel carrier at a recent arms exhibition in London. The indigously designed vehicle will have several variants, including one with a 105mm gun.
The U.S. will provide $59 million to help the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) increase border security. Washington has invested approximately $1.3 billion over the past decade to support the country’s security. A separate assistance package worth $8.6 million will include 560 155mm laser-guided precision artillery shells and 50 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles was also announced.
The Department of Defense awarded AM General a $11.3 million contract to provide Lebanon with 50 high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles.
Bahrain will be the launch customer for Russia’s new Kornet-EM anti-tank guided missile, according to a source in the Russian defense industry. The Gulf kingdom ordered 100 of the 9M133M-2 missiles in 2014, which feature a ‘fire-and-forget’ capability and a range of up to 6 miles.
The Pentagon agreed to a $46.9 million contract modification with Oshkosh Defense to provide 184 medium tactical vehicles to Iraq. Work on the trucks is scheduled to be completed by 2017.
France will sell two Mistral amphibious assault ships to Egypt for $1.1 billion. The ships were originally built for Russia, but their delivery was canceled following Moscow’s annexation of Crimea.
Amid Russian overflights of Turkish territory, Ankara has voiced disapproval with Washington and Berlin’s plan to withdraw their Patriot missile batteries from the Syrian border by the end of the year. Only one set of Patriot missile batteries operated by Spanish troops will remain in the country.