Israeli defense companies have received contracts totalling $770 million from Lockheed Martin to supply systems and services for the F-35, according to the Israeli Defense Ministry. Elbit and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) undertook most of the work, supplying the F-35’s helmet mounted display system (HDMS) and wing sets respectively.
President Obama signed into law an appropriations bill for fiscal year 2016 that included $3.1 billion in aid to Israel. The package will provide the Jewish state with $487 million in missile defense assistance and another $40 million for new a joint tunnel detection program.
Details began to emerge about the IDF’s latest five year plan, codename Gideon, which lays out priorities for defense spending through 2020. Military leaders want to make significant investments in electronic network command capabilities while cutting back on non-combat support outlays. The plan also envisages that the IDF should be prepared to fight in two theaters simultaneously, saying a protracted conflict on Israel’s northern borders could be a significant threat.
The IDF said that a newly formed special operations unit that includes soldiers from four other elite infantry battalions will start training as a brigade under Division 98.
Israeli Military Technology
Roboteam won a $25 million contract with the Pentagon to supply portable stair-climbing robots that can detect explosives, the second DoD purchase from the company in two years. The defense firm, founded by former members of the Israeli special forces, specializes in making smaller, less expensive robots than its larger U.S. rivals.
Elbit began upgrading the Israeli Air Force’s fleet of Hermes 900 series drones. While a specific list of improvements was not made available, officials said that enhancements would increase the UAV’s capabilities “in accordance with changing threats” and are specifically aimed at terrorist who “hide.”
Israeli Military Sales
Poland signed a $152 million agreement with Rafael to license the design for 1,000 extra Spike long range anti-tank guided missiles. The Polish firm ZM Mesko will manufacture the missiles, adding to the 2,675 missiles already made by the firm.
The joint Israeli-Indian developed Barak 8 missile interceptor successfully completed two tests after being launched from an Indian naval ship. Developed with IAI as the primary contractor, the missile has been designed to protect offshore threats from enemy aircraft and projectiles. Meanwhile, ties between IAI and Barak 8 subcontractor Premier Explosives Limited (PEL), deepened when the two companies signed a memorandum to “explore potential business opportunities”.
The Pentagon awarded DYNCORP a $21 million foreign military contract to supply aviation maintenance in Kuwait and other allied countries for the next two years.
Raytheon won a $9 million foreign military sales contract to provide technical assistance to PATRIOT missile defense systems stationed in Kuwait.
Lockheed Martin will supply 64 new sensor arrays for Qatari Apache ground attack helicopters as part of a $130 million dollar contract. The firm will also provide $110 million worth of engineering support to Saudi MH-60R helicopters.
The Pentagon awarded Lockheed Martin a $25 million contract for continued logistical support for Saudi Arabia’s National Guard through 2018.