U.S. European Command (ESEUCOM) and the IDF will take part in a joint training Juniper Cobra later this month to improve upon ballistic missile defenses. The previous Juniper Cobra exercise in 2014 focused on using Arrow 3 interceptor missiles as part of a multi-layer air defense shield.
In preparation for acquisition of the next generation of heavy-lift helicopters, IAF pilots have started visiting major foreign aircraft manufacturers. According to Israel Defense, the two most viable contenders will be the Boeing’s CH-47 Chinook and the Sikorsky/Lockheed Martin CH-53K King Stallion.
Israeli Military Technology
Elbit systems unveiled a new Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) named Seagull. The 12-meter long multi-purpose vessel features various payload configurations capable of supporting mine hunting operations, anti-submarine warfare, and search and identification of unknown objections. Seagull’s ability to stay at sea for four days and its low operating costs will help increase patrol efficiency and reduce the reliance on manned missions at sea.
The IDF finished updating its Lake Castle military command and control management system following three months of testing. With the updated technology, top military officials will be able to receive battlefield insights faster, helping commanders assess whether they are “are hitting the right targets the first time” and raising the “quality of strikes.”
Israeli Military Industries (IMI) is expanding its arsenal of guided bombs by introducing the MPR 2000. At 2000 lbs it has a smaller blast radius than traditional bombs, but can still be used with JDAM and other high tech guidance kits. IMI hopes the munitions can reduce collateral damage, allowing it to provide closer ground support, and also better penetrate fortified structures.
The IDF began installing Windbreaker active missile defense systems on the Namer Armored Personnel Carrier (APC). Known as the Trophy system outside of Israel, the system has already been installed on many Merkava tanks to intercept incoming rocket propelled grenades (RPG) and anti-tank missiles.
Israel’s next generation of APCs, codenamed Tiger, began field testing at the IDF Infantry Training School in the Negev. Based on the design of existing Merkava tanks, the new fighting vehicle will provide the “highest level of protection available for IDF soldiers,” according to a Defense Ministry official.
Israeli Military Sales
IMI submitted a proposal to the Polish government to supply Predator Hawk rockets along with launching vehicles, and command and support systems in a bid security experts estimate could be worth up to $500 million. The rocket system can deliver a 440 lb warhead up to a range of 155 miles. Lockheed Martin has also submitted a bid to supply its own weapons system to modernize Poland’s ground based rockets.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and South Korean manufacturer Hankuk Carbon agreed to develop a new drone for the South Korean armed forces. The UAV will have vertical take-off and landing capabilities and could also act as a model for a ship-base version.
Aerospace startup Meteor unveiled a medium-altitude, long-endurance UAV named Impact. Able to carry a 330 lb payload, the drone can stay airborne for more than 24 hours. According to company officials, the firm hopes to establish itself by making low profile products with niche designs and has already received orders worth $100 million for the UAV.
Elbit systems won a $70 million contract to provide Electronic Warfare (EW) systems capable of being installed on all types of Israeli Air Force fighter jets. The work will be conducted over the next five years.
Jordan’s Princess Basma 3rd Mechanized Infantry Battalion successfully concluded a 12-week training with elements of the U.S. Army’s 2nd Armored Brigade. Joint exercises included live fire missions, and training on how to support ground troops and maintain interoperability.
Turkey’s indigenous Anka medium-altitude, long-endurance drone completed its first mission-based flight on February 5th, according to officials in the country. Developed by Tusas Turkish Aerospace Industry (TAI), the drone reached 19,000 feet during its four hour reconnaissance flight.
The Pentagon awarded General Dynamics a $16 million foreign military sales contract to supply technical services to an Egyptian assembly line compiling M1A1 tank kits.
Rolls Royce will provide engine logistics and support to the U.S. and Kuwait worth $65 million for KC-130J turboprop aircraft.