Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu concluded a historic trip to Africa, discussing issues of security and trade with the leaders of Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, and Ethiopia. Netanyahu is also bidding for an observer status in the African Union, a move previously blocked by Libya and South Africa.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in Jerusalem to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, calling for bilateral negotiations. During the visit they also discussed regional security challenges.
The White House announced it’s willing to increase Israel’s military aid as part of a Memorandum of Understanding, based on the contingency that Israel spends 26 percent of the aid on U.S. defense systems, as opposed to investing in the Israeli defense industries.
The IDF completed construction on an underground cyber headquarters in central Israel to house the C4I Directorate’s cyber defense command and control center and the Military Intelligence Directorate’s offensive cyber warfare unit.
Israel and the U.S. completed a five-day joint missile defense test known as Integrated Ground Test-2016. “The purpose was to evaluate in depth our technical ability to interoperate with new systems and block models slated to become operational in the coming year,” said an officer with the Israel Missile Defense Organization. In contrast to Juniper Cobra earlier this summer, “This drill was about the engineers, the technology developers and all the smart people from industry checking algorithms and processes to ensure that our architecture is integrated.”
During a speech given on June 30th, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu implied a desire to obtain a V-22 aircraft as part of Israel’s Memorandum of Understanding with the United States, making a reference to a “vertical takeoff” machine.
Israeli Military Technology
Defense company Elbit Systems successfully launched a torpedo from an unmanned sea vehicle in a trial on June 28th. The vessel, known as the Seagull, is designed to engage in numerous sea-based missions and is equipped with advanced sonar and torpedoes.
Israel and India successfully tested a Barack-8 surface-to-air missile interceptor. The defense system is designed to be mobile, enabling it to be launched from a ship, and can destroy targets up to 93 miles away.
In an effort to become more cost efficient, the IDF will incorporate reusable mortar shells in artillery trainings. The Israel Military Industries (IMI) designed the shells to not explode upon landing, allowing them to be reused up to 40 times.
IMI will provide the IDF with new ground-base long-range rockets to help alleviate the need for Israeli Air Force combat operations against Hezbollah in Lebanon. The rockets, which have a range of up to 93 miles, are more cost effective than aerial assault raids and less vulnerable to counterattack.
Israeli Arms Sales
Israel will lease out five Heron UAVs to Germany for delivery in 2018. Germany will use Israeli drones until Europeans nations develop their own UAV indigenously.
U.S. Arms Sales
The State Department approved the sale of excess U.S. Sea Hawk Helicopters to Israel for $300 million on July 6th. The helicopters be stationed aboard four new Israeli corvettes, aiding in troop transport and protecting offshore assets in the Mediterranean.
The U.S. agreed to loan Iraq $2.7 billion to fight the Islamic State. The money will used to acquire military equipment, such as armored vehicles and fighter jets, and must be repaid in eight years.
The U.S. Army announced on June 27th it tested an Israeli-made Tamir missile interceptor in a move to incorporate the defense weapon into European air defense systems. The increased interest in the missile coincides with American concerns over Russia’s growing military threat.
Qatar signed a $1.1 billion deal with Italian missile production company Italia MBDA to outfit seven naval warships shortly after the emirate finalized an agreement to buy ships from Italian shipyard company Fincantieri.