Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on March 9. During a news conference with reporters, Netanyahu said he had raised concerns with his Russian counterpart over Iran’s efforts to cement its military presence in southern Syria, near the border with Israel.
Prime Minister Netanyahu met the new U.S. Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt in Jerusalem on March 13. A statement from the Prime Minister’s office says the two “reaffirmed the joint commitment of both Israel and the United States to advance a genuine and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians that strengthens the security of Israel and enhances stability in the region.”
The IDF will probably buy two squadrons of new F-15s from Boeing to replace its older F-15s and to retain a qualitative military edge over other Sunni Arab states that have purchased the planes in recent years. The new F-15s cost $100 million each and include advanced active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar system as well as a larger payload capacity. Meanwhile, the Israeli military has started to evaluate the purchase of new transport helicopters and will pick either the Sikorsky/Lockheed Martin CH-53 K or Boeing’s CH-47 Chinook.
The Israeli, Greek, and U.S. navies will participate in a trilateral drill later this month. Called Noble Dina, the exercises will include a dozen surface, submarine, and airborne assets for about three weeks.
Israeli Military Technology
Israeli Navy’s Sea Knight unmanned sea vehicle is now fully operational after a missile firing tests. The Rafael-made USV, which can operate for up to 12 hours, can be controlled from the 916th Company’s base in Ashdod or by nearby ships.
The Israeli Air Force held an inauguration ceremony for its F-35I Adir Maintenance Training Center in Nevatim Air Force base in southern Israel.
Foreign Military Sales
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has proposed using its Heron TP unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to fulfill an upcoming tender for Australia’s Project AIR 7003 requirement. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) already uses the Heron 1.
Elbit Systems, IAI, and Rafael joined European defense firms in submitting applications for Poland’s upcoming tender to acquire medium-altitude long-endurance combat UAVs.
IAI, Rafael, and other defense contractors are expected to submit bids for replacing India’s Barak-1 short-range surface-to-air missile. India wants to purchase 10 missile batteries and 600 missiles at the cost of $1.5 billion.
The Pentagon awarded Raytheon a 1.07 billion foreign military sale to supply Qatar with a new early radar warning array.