Two Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)-made satellites were successfully launched into space from a site in French Guiana. Developed in cooperation with the French space agency, CNES, VENµS will allow scientists to gather ultra-precise data on climate change related environmental conditions such as pollution, erosion, and desertification. The Italian government will use the other satellite for military reconnaissance.
One-hundred fifty-three young adults from 12 countries enlisted in the IDF during the July and August recruiting period, according to a military statement. Almost half of the lone soldiers volunteered from the United States and more than a third came from France.
Israeli Military Technology
IAI recently completed a vehicle mounted system to detect IEDs and mines. CIMS (Counter IED and Mine Suite) system uses radar and an optical array to scan a 270-degree area for explosives, but neither the IDF nor other militaries have yet bought the system.
Israel’s MAFAT Defense Research and Development Authority along with other defense contractors have begun assessing the parameters of the next generation of missile defense infrastructure. In what could one day be called Arrow-4, researchers are looking at technologies needed to counter numerous salvos, multiple reentry vehicles, and other missile threats emanating from countries such as Iran. Israel has already started sharing its preliminary research and concept definitions with the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency in the U.S.
The Israeli military has begun testing a 30mm turret canon on Namer heavy armored personnel carriers to improve its maneuverability and accuracy in urban environments.
Foreign Military Sales
With the help of funding from a $2.5 billion Indian government grant, a joint venture between Kalyani and Rafael will begin to manufacture Spike anti-tank guided missiles and related technologies at a newly inaugurated facility in Hyderabad, India. Over 8,000 Spike missiles will initially be made at the facility with an option of making 30,000 more.
The Royal Thai Air Force requested $96.1 million from the Thai Cabinet to upgrade Northrop Grumman F-5 Tiger II interceptors with Rafael Litening 3 targeting pods and Skyshield electronic countermeasures. Thailand’s F-5 already include Rafael Python-4 agile short-range air-to-air missile and Elbit DASH IV helmet-mounted sights.
Israel defense officials offered to finance the training of Ghanan drone operators during a meeting with Ghana’s military chief Lt. Gen. Obed Boamah Akwa.
President Rodrigo Duterte expressed interest in using Elbit Hermes 900 and Hermes 450 UAVs during a demonstration in the Philippines.
The Croatian military approved a tender to acquire “eight Elbit Systems 30 mm UT30Mk2 remote-controlled weapon stations for its Patria armored modular vehicles (AMVs), replacing Kongsberg M151 Protector stations,” according to IHS Jane’s.
Jordan’s King Abdullah II made a rare visit to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah, the first such meeting in five years. Over two hours the two leaders discussed recent tensions between Israelis and Palestinians at the Temple Mount, a shrine administered by Jordan’s Hashemite Dynasty.