Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman told local media that President-elect Donald Trump’s advisors have asked Jerusalem to only build settlements in existing West Bank blocs. “We’ve been receiving official messages from Trump’s team. They’re expecting us to act modestly,” the defense minister said, adding that the Trump team does not want Israel to change the “facts on the ground.”
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin visited Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this month, marking 25 years of diplomatic ties between the two nations. While in New Delhi, the two leaders signed agreements to boost ties and innovation in the agricultural and resource management fields.
Jerusalem appointed Eitan Na’eh as ambassador to Turkey, five years after Ankara expelled Gabby Levy, as both countries try to rebuild relations.
The head of the U.S. National Guard, Air Force Gen. Joseph Lengyel traveled to Israel to meet with the leader of the IDF’s Home Front Command, Maj. Gen. Yoel Strik. Both generals discussed developments in emergency readiness, such as localized cell phone alerts, and observed an exercise simulating a response to Hezbollah attack.
Israeli Military Technology
Israel’s Ministry of Defense announced plans to purchase hundreds of active tank protection weapons. Known as Trophy, the system will ensure every new tank and armored personnel carrier (APC) is able to shoot down incoming anti-tank rockets and RPGs.
Elbit unveiled a new suite of technologies to identify, monitor, and disrupt unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). ReDrone will primary focus on intercepting consumer drones from entering restricted airspace or sensitive sites.
Rafael subsidiary mPrest will try to push technologies from the Iron Dome missile defense systems into civilian markets. The company believes that software from the groundbreaking command and control unit could allow governments to protect infrastructure systems from cyber attacks. The Jerusalem Post describes how Iron Dome uses “unique IoT (Internet of Things) platform interface” to manage large quantities of sensor data, and process it in real time.
The Israeli navy will decide in 2017 whether to deploy extremely short take-off and landing (ESTOL) UAVs on Saar 5 and Saar 6 corvettes. Advance Programs Groups plans to develop UAVs that can take off from 2 square meters of surface with 440 pounds payload.
Foreign Military Sales
Eblit and the Indian firm Adani established a joint venture that would transfer Israeli technology and know-how to “produce UAVs as well as provide related maintenance, repair, and overhaul services” in India, according to Janes.
Azerbaijan will buy Israel’s Iron Dome, the first such sale of the system to a foreign government. A battery of interceptors has already been sent, according to a report in Walla news, marking what is likely the biggest sale to the country since a $1.4 billion defense deal in 2012.
Iran and Russia are reportedly discussing a $10 billion defense package that could include “T-90 tanks, artillery systems, and various aircraft.” Meanwhile, S-300 surface-to-air missile systems Moscow delivered to Tehran earlier this year will probably be operational by year’s end.
The Pentagon awarded Lockheed Martin a $12.3 million foreign military sale to provide 100 Hellfire M299 missile launchers to Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and other allied nations.