Home Alliance Tracker Alliance Tracker: May 23, 2017

Alliance Tracker: May 23, 2017


Israel and the U.S.

President Donald Trump made his first overseas trip since his inauguration earlier this year. He began in Saudi Arabia signing a $110 billion arms deal and speaking to the leaders of Arab-Muslim countries about terrorism. President Trump traveled to Israel, meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and becoming the first sitting American President to visit the Western Wall. During discussions with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem, Trump denounced PA payments made to the perpetrators of terrorist attacks. While overseas, President Trump will also visit the Vatican, G7 leaders, and NATO commanders.

Israel and the U.S. militaries concluded joint exercise Juniper Falcon on May 18. Over the preceding two weeks, both sides practiced air assaults on moving ground targets and evading advanced surface-to-air missiles. U.S. forces based in Europe participated in the drills, including the 173rd Airborne Brigade, the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, and the 37th Airlift Squadron.

U.S. media reported that Israel was the source of highly classified intelligence on Islamic State that President Trump disclosed to senior Russian officials during a White House visit earlier this month. Al Jazeera, however, reported that a Jordanian official said Jordan had supplied the information to Mr. Trump, not Israel.


The Israeli military held an unannounced week-long drill to test the operational readiness of its Dolphin-class submarine and elite Shayetet-13 naval unit.

The IDF will replace manned Sea Scan patrols and intelligence missions in the Mediterranean with Heron 1 drones.

Israeli Military Technology

Elbit announced an updated version of its 120 mm Spear MK2 portable mortar system. The MK2 has a longer barrel, increased range, and enhanced recoil reduction, but can still be mounted to the back of a truck.

Foreign Military Sales

Rafael, Elbit, Israel Military Industries (IMI), Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), and four other Israeli defense firms showcased a range of new hardware at the IMDEX Maritime Defense Exhibition and Conference in Singapore. Asia represents a quickly expanding market for Israeli contractors, which displayed sea-to-land rockets, advanced radar systems, and specialized mini UAVs.

IAI and Indian state-owned Bharat signed a $630 million deal to provide four Indian naval vessels with Barak 8 medium-range surface-to-air missile (MRSAM) and corresponding MF-STAR radar arrays. After years of joint development and a series of tests, the missile “successfully tracked and intercepted a low-flying high-speed target at enhanced range with pin-point accuracy,” according to an Indian official.

Regional Developments

President Trump hosted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the White House. During his time in the U.S., members of President Erdogan personal protection detail were filmed violently assaulting peaceful demonstrators across the street from the Turkish ambassador’s residence.