A reserve Iron Dome missile defense battery has been upgraded with new software for managing multiple incoming threats, according to the IDF’s Aerial Defense Division. The improved program should be installed on all Iron Dome systems by May 2016.
Israeli military commanders will deploy Iron Dome to ships to protect offshore gas rigs from terrorist rocket attacks from Gaza. However, once new German-made Sa’ar 6 class ships are delivered in 2019, advanced Barak 8 missiles will replace the Iron Dome batteries.
Israel plans to deactivate one of its F-16C/D squadrons in 2017, as the first new group of F-35 “Adir” achieves operational readiness.
The Israeli Ministry of Defense announced that David’s Sling, a medium range missile interceptor, passed a fourth set of trials earlier this month marking the system’s “final milestone” before delivery and deployment. The Air Force expects David’s Sling to be operational by 2016. Similarly, the longer range Arrow-3 successfully completed its first exo-atmospheric interception on December 10th. The U.S. has worked closely with Israel to help fund and develop both systems of the Jewish State’s multi-layered missiles defense.
Thirty-five percent of Raytheon’s work to supply the U.S. military with Precision Extended Range Munition (PERM) guidance systems for 120mm-mortars will be done in Ramat Hasharon, Israel. Israeli Military Industries partnered with the firm to help fulfill the five year $98 million contract.
The INS Rahav left its German shipyard for Israel, after the country’s fifth Dolphin-class submarine finished almost three years of sea trials and system integrations earlier this month. Navy planners expect the sixth and final submarine in the fleet to become operational in 2019.
MCTECH showcased a new tool to identify and neutralize small UAVs. The MC-Horizon can acquire targets at a range of 2 miles away using an electro-optical and will have two specialized versions for stationary and mobile deployment.
Israeli Military Sales
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) intends to offer the French government the option to acquire four upgraded Lockheed Martin C-130Es. The French government will require two of the planes to be equipped with air-to-air refuelling system and expect their airframes to last another 20-30 years.
Egyptian fighter jets flew over Israeli air space during operations to combat Islamic State insurgents in Sinai. The planes reportedly bombed targets in the coastal cities of el-Arish and Sheikh Zuweid and were in contact with the IDF.
ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) announced on December 10th, 2015 that Egypt’s first Type 209 submarine had been launched at its Kiel yard and named S 41. (Photo: ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems)
The Pentagon awarded Lockheed Martin a $318 million contract on December 7th to supply the U.S. Military, Iraq, and Egypt, and other countries with Hellfire missiles.
Egyptian Navy and Air Force units visited Greece in early December to participate in a joint-exercise named Medusa 2015. Egypt’s official news agency said the training enhanced military cooperation and allowed soldiers to share operational experiences.
The defense firm Russian Helicopters will modernize the Helwan Factory for Developed Industries, an Egyptian facility that provides advanced maintenance, repair, and overhaul to Mi-8T and Mi-17 helicopters. Egypt has 41 Mi-8T and three Mi-17 in service.
German ship maker ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems launched the first of four Type 209 class submarines for the Egyptian navy.
Ankara will establish a military base in Qatar in order to combat “common enemies”, according to Turkey’s ambassador to the Persian Gulf emirate. The multi-purpose facility will house about 3,000 ground troops as well as special forces operators and will be Turkey’s first foreign garrison in the Middle East.
Boeing delivered a Peace Eagle airborne early warning and control aircraft to Turkey, increasing the military’s ability to track airborne and naval targets. The plane is the fourth and last from a 2003 contract worth $1.6 billion contract to modernize Ankara’s mobile radar systems.
The Department of Defense awarded Lockheed Martin a $360 million foreign military sales contract to supply the UAE and Saudi Arabia with upgrades to their Patriot air defense systems to meet PAC-3 requirements.
Saudi Arabia signed a preliminary agreement to purchase 30 An-178 airlifters from the Ukrainian plane maker Antonov in a move to increase Riyadh’s strategic airlift capacity.
In another sign of closer cooperation with Arab nations, the Israeli military hosted a “working visit” for Jordanian Air Force pilots. The meeting was not publicized in Amman, but a Jordanian fighter pilot who refused to cooperate with the Israelis was subsequently dismissed from the Air Force.