IDF soldiers and troops with the U.S. Army’s European Command (EUCOM) arrived in Israel for Juniper Cobra, a five-day drill simulating a response to multiple missile attacks on Israel. Approximately 3,200 soldiers participated in the biannual exercise in 2016.
The Israeli Defense Ministry’s director general Maj. Gen. Udi Adam traveled to India in an effort to re-secure a contract to sell New Delhi Israeli-made Spike anti-tank missiles. The Indian government abruptly canceled the contract late last year after Rafael had already opened a production facility in the sub-continent.
Volunteers from Druze villages in the Northern Golan have begun training as EMTs to increase their community’s access to first responders and decrease response times.
Israeli Military Technology
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced new operational capabilities for its Heron UAV that would allow the drone to land, refuel, and receive servicing at remote runways. These improvements in automated takeoff, taxiing, and landing allows the drone to complete secondary missions away from its original departure facility.
The IDF will build a surface-to-surface missile arsenal within the ground corps. This decision will give the Army long-range strategic platform for confronting threats up to 150-kilometers away in Syria and Lebanon.
Foreign Military Sales
German firm ThyssenKrupp began work on four Saar 6-class corvettes for the Israeli Navy costing $560 million. Israel expects the ships to enter service between 2020 and 2022.
The Israeli Air Force commissioned an expansion of its current fleet of Heron TP medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAVs. The IAF declined to disclose how many Herons are operational but did say the expansion would lead to a 70% increase in flight hours.
The German government renewed a contract to use IAI Heron-1 reconnaissance UAVs in Afghanistan and Mali. As part of the agreement, the Israeli firm will also supply auxiliary services and manpower for the medium altitude, long-term endurance aircraft.
Elbit won a $150 million contract to provide the Australian Defense Ministry support for its Battle Management System Command and Control (BMS C2) center.
In response to a United Nations appeal for funds, the UAE and Qatar have pledged $2 million and $9 million respectively to the Hamas government in Gaza. This money was reportedly designated for the continued maintenance of the generators powering hospitals in Gaza.