Israel and the U.S.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross docked in Ashdod on October 11. The visit marked the first time in 19 years that a U.S. destroyer visited the port. David Friedman, U.S. Ambassador to Israel, and the ship’s commander, David Coles were also in attendance. Cmdr. Coles explained the multi-mission capabilities of the USS Ross and reaffirmed America’s commitment to a strong partnership with the Jewish State.
Israel temporarily grounded all of its F-35I Adir next-generation fighter planes following a Pentagon decision to halt U.S. F-35A/B operations. An investigation into an F-35B crash last month in South Carolina suggests a technical fault in an engine fuel pipe could cripple the planes, and suggested inspections.
Israeli Military Technology
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) won a military contract to convert commercial bulldozers and other construction equipment to act autonomously. The technology “allows effective and efficient execution of complex engineering assignments over prolonged periods of time with no human intervention, thus significantly reducing the risk for humans,” according to an IAI official.
The Israeli government will test the new Iron Fist Light Configuration (IF-LC) Active Protection System (APS) on Eitan wheeled armored personnel carriers (APC), according to a report in Jane’s 360. Just like the larger Trophy APS already on tanks and heaver APCs, the IF-LC will protect troops against incoming projectiles and will also be deployed on NATO platforms, such as the Netherland’s CV90 infantry fighting vehicles.
SpaceIL delayed the launch of a probe to the moon until early 2019. The firm blamed rocket manufacturer SpaceX for the postponement.
Foreign Military Sales
IAI won a contract with Leonardo DRS to provide the U.S. Army with WindGuard Active Protection Radar for use on M1 Abrams tanks. When deployed in conjunction with Rafael’s Trophy intercepter, the unified system can detect and destroy an incoming RPG fired at a tank or armored vehicle. Israel has already installed the systems on Merkava tanks.
The U.S. Department of Homeland security awarded Israeli startup Morphisec a contract to integrate its Moving Target Defense into virtual networking infrastructure. The software will help limit the exposure of desktop end-user by routing information through special tunnels back to servers.
An unnamed Asian country awarded IAI a $55 million contract to install airborne radar arrays that can map, track, and image other aircraft, ground, and sea targets.
South Korean military chiefs said they are considering whether to buy Iron Dome missile defense systems, according to a report prepared for the National Assembly in Seoul.
An Israeli media outlet reported that IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot met with high ranking defense officials from a number of Arab countries at the Counter–Violent Extremist Organizations conference in Washington, DC. Eisenkot may have also met with Saudi Arabia’s Chief of Staff Gen. Fayyad bin Hamed Al-Ruwaili to discuss how to counter Iran’s regional ambitions, even though the two countries they represent have no diplomatic relations.