Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin held informal talks in Paris during a ceremony to mark 100 years since the end of WWI. While the two leaders declined to elaborate on their discussions, tensions between Jerusalem and Moscow have been high since the Kremlin accused the Israeli’s misleading Syrian air defenses to shot down a Russian warplane on September 18.
Separately, Israeli cabinet minister and co-chair of the Russia-Israel Intergovernmental Commission Ze’ev Elkin warned Moscow that the IDF could strike S-300 anti-aircraft sites in Syria even if manned by Russians. Elkin also claimed that the Syrians operating the batteries remain poorly trained, likely leading to a misfiring. The minister floated the possibility that aircraft operating in Israeli airspace could be targeted, prompting retaliation.
Jane’s reports that Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) began an initiative two years ago to pair artificial intelligence (AI) learning algorithms with radar imaging systems to help computers better identify new airborne objects and vehicles.
Foreign Military Sales
Elbit won a $68 million UAV contract with Portuguese defense contractor Centre of Engineering and Product Development (CEiiA) to provide Hermes 900 maritime patrol drones to the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). The long-range drone will monitor the Mediterranean Sea and coastlines and house an electro-optical payload.
The Israeli Railway Authority awarded Rafael a contract to build a new Cyber Security Operations Center (CSOC) to help protect trains and corresponding infrastructure from hacking and snooping attacks.
Indian airline SpiceJet began using TaxiBot at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi for the first time. IAI and French firm TLD developed the pilot-controlled vehicle, allowing planes to shut off engines after landing and be towed to the terminal jetbridge, saving fuel and reducing greenhouse gasses.
Arab media reported that Israel had sold an estimated $250 million in unnamed high-tech spy equipment to Saudi Arabia. According to the UAE website al-Khaleej, much of the hardware is already operational with technicians pre-trained before deployment.
During a regional summit in late October, the Omani Minister of Foreign Affairs Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah showed a willingness to recognize Israel as a nation states, a first among Gulf countries. “Israel is a state present in the region, and we all understand this,” said the minister, “the world is also aware of this fact. Maybe it is time for Israel to be treated the same [as others states] and also bear the same obligations.”
Israel’s Foreign Ministry announced that it would replace its Ambassador to Egypt, David Govrin, naming Amira Oron as his successor. Oron who is fluent in Arabic has previously served with Israel’s diplomatic mission in Ankara Turkey and studied Islamic and Middle Eastern studies.