IDF special forces and U.S. Marines conducted joint military exercises in the Negev desert last week. The drill, named “Noble Shirley”, included helicopter landings and simulated urban warfare to train U.S.-forces currently deployed in the Middle East.
A newly formed IDF Sinai division artillery brigade conducted a large-scale training drill in preparation for a future conflict with Hamas in Gaza. The live-fire exercise included training with weapons that can detect enemy rocket fire and retaliate with GPS guided ammunition.
IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot visited the U.S. last week, meeting with Gen. Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. LTG Eizenkot visited military bases in Utah and Florida, and discussed current security challenges in the Middle East with Gen. Dunford and other military leaders.
Ministry of Finance director general Shai Babad halted negotiations with state-owned Elbit Systems for the purchase of Israeli Military Industries (IMI).
U.S. and Israeli media outlets continued to report that Washington and Jerusalem have nearly finalized a memorandum of understanding, which will supply military aid to the Jewish State over the next 10 years.
Israeli Military Technology
Rafael is developing updated models of its unmanned surface vessels (USVs) the “Shomer Hayam” for the Israeli Navy. The vessels are based on combat craft and remote-control technologies originally built by U.S.-based Oregon Iron Works, and will help the Israeli Navy to better protect surface ships during military operations.
The IDF unveiled its first ever wheeled armored personnel carrier (APC) prototype, planned to replace the older M113 models. The new APC, named “Eitan,” is designed to address shortcomings identified during the 2014 Gaza war, and includes a 750-horsepower engine and will operate alongside the tracked Namer APC.
RT Systems announced that it will launch the “SkyGuard.” a line of surveillance blimps that will be able to carry heavier loads and reach higher altitudes than pervious lighter-than-air vehicles.
Three new Super Dvora Mk3’s are undergoing test trials before delivery to the Israeli Navy. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) developed the ships, which will be the first updated patrol crafts to be deployed in more than 40 years.
Israeli startup, FST Biometrics, developed a biometric identification technology that uses facial, behavioral, and voice recognition to identify personnel. These tools could eliminate the need for keys or ID cards, and may be used to increase security at military facilities.
Elbit released a new optical system that allows pilots to have increased visibility when flying through fog. The tool uses special cameras to filter specific wavelengths of light before superimposing geographic data to create complete images for display.
Israeli Navy Experts are working alongside German shipyards in Hamburg and Kiel to develop air independent propulsion (AIP) for Dolphin-class submarines and four-ship Sa’ar-6 corvette.
Israeli Arms Sales
The Israel Ministry of Defense awarded Elbit Systems with several contracts in a variety of fields, totaling in a value of $315 million.
Eros-B, an Israeli high-resolution imaging satellite, will be used to ensure security at the Olympics this summer in Rio. The satellite will allow for detailed surveillance of the city, taking images with an accuracy of 1.5 feet.
US Arms Sales
Lockheed Martin began test flights of Israel’s first F-35 Lightning II “Adir” fighter jet due to be delivered in December. The new F-35 utilizes cutting edge stealth technology, updated sensors, and fuel-optimization systems to keep it in flight for longer periods of time.
The Sierra Nevada Corp. in Nevada was awarded a $10 million contract with the Kingdom of Jordan for the modification of an M-28 aircraft, to be completed by July 2018.
The U.S. Navy completed a decade long contract negotiation with the Israeli Navy to purchase arms from the Italian-owned contractor Oto Melara based in Florida. The $100 million sale will equip top-of-the-line Israeli vessels with 76mm rapid-fire guns.
Pakistani, UAE, Israeli, and U.S. aircraft will fly alongside each other during “Red Flag”, a combat training exercise that takes place annually at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. During the exercise, countries are separated into teams, and simulate “fights” to improve aviation skills and international military connections.