Home Alliance Tracker Alliance Tracker: February 14, 2017

Alliance Tracker: February 14, 2017

The IDF's ground forces will use the Skylark 3 at brigade level. (Photo: Elbit)


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will visit with President Donald Trump in Washington on Wednesday, the first meeting between the two leaders since Trump became president in January. Netanyahu is expected to discuss regional security challenges, such as Iran and its proxies, with the U.S. President.

Israel took delivery of Arrow-3 interceptors, adding the fully operational weapons system to the country’s multi-layered missile defense shield. The missile interceptors, developed jointly with the U.S., are manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and can intercept incoming ballistic weapons at the edge of space.

Some new IDF recruits will enter into co-ed basic training, according to the IDF’s Director of Planning and Human Resources; the move comes as more combat roles are opening up to women.  

Israeli Military Technology

The IDF will increase the number of units using Elbit’s new Skylark 3 tactical unmanned aerial vehicle, allowing continuous ground coverage and providing brigade commanders with more battlefield intelligence.

Motorola and the IDF’s Home Front Command are working to create a mobile radar and warning system to alert troops to incoming rockets. Expected to be operational in as little as three months, Ronny can be placed on small vehicles and will sound a siren for incoming projectiles.

BGUSAT plans to launch its first nanosatellite into space on February 15 to study weather, climate, and desertification. A consortium of Ben-Gurion University, IAI, and Israel’s Ministry of Science, Technology, and Space helped build the foot-long device, which has a high-resolution camera and weighs only 11 pounds.

IAI announced a new anti-jamming system for Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), such as GPS. ADA will work on a range of military platforms, including airplanes and ground vehicles, allowing them to receive GPS signals jammed by an adversary.

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) has begun looking for new training helicopters to replace the Bell 206 (OH-58B) JetRangers by 2020.

Foreign Military Sales

Shortly after Israel’s Defense Ministry eased restrictions on the foreign military sale of UAVs, IAI has unveiled an export version of the Heron TP. The revised multi-mission drone has a lower payload capacity and will comply with the international Missile Technology Control Regime II (MTCR II).

An undisclosed Asia-Pacific country awarded Elbit a contract to upgrade Russian-designed Mi-17 transport helicopters. The company will also provide ongoing maintenance for the next five years.

The IDF and Ministry of Defense signed a three-year agreement with Cisco. The technology firm will provide network and security upgrades for the Israeli government, including cyber warfare units.

IAI completed delivery of an Integrated Underwater Harbour Defence and Surveillance System (IUHDSS) to the Indian Navy. The modular system uses a variety of sensors to detect, identify, and track hostile surface and submarine threats.

Regional Developments

The U.S. military will increase its naval presence in the Red Sea in response to the ongoing conflict in Yemen and the recent Houthi rebel attack on a Saudi frigate. The Pentagon plans to station two additional destroyers and extend the deployment of an assault ship, carrying marines and attack aircraft, in the vital waterway.