Home Alliance Tracker Alliance Tracker: December 11, 2018

Alliance Tracker: December 11, 2018

Leonardo and Elbit Systems have teamed to develop a light torpedo capability for the Seagull USV. (Photo: Leonardo)

Israeli Military Technology

Elbit revealed that a new ultra-portable command and control fire system for front-line infantry units is already operating in an undisclosed nation. HattoriX enables tactical operators and reconnaissance units to phase out the use of laser rangefinders in favor of a system that matches video feeds with a database of geographical information to determine a target’s location.

A report in Globes suggests that the Israeli government has increased funding on the research and development of weapons systems that shoot down short-range rockets and missiles with lasers. Defense officials hope that the systems would scale better against large rocket barrages from southern Lebanon than Iron Dome.

Italian defense contractor Leonardo will work with Elbit to develop a lightweight torpedo system for the Israeli firm’s Seagull unmanned surface vessel (USV).

Foreign Military Sales

South Korea announced it would purchase Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Green Pine radar arrays in a deal worth approximately $292 million. The system, which will likely monitor North Korea, can help Seoul “spot and track ballistic missiles from a long distance at an early stage.”  

IAI and Boeing have signed a cooperation agreement enabling the Israeli defense contractor to provide service and modifications to Boeing aircraft purchased for the Israeli Air Force and other organizations. The Israeli government is currently in the process of procuring new air-to-air refueling planes that could be worth billions of dollars.

Elbit opened a production facility south of Bucharest, Romania, its fourth factory in the country. The workshop will make turrets and other support systems for the country’s new Piranha armored vehicles.

India’s procurement agency suggested that it would cancel a deal worth $500 million to purchase Rafael’s Spike anti-tank missiles. Indian officials voiced concerns that the system’s infrared system might be unable to withstand high temperatures and suggested the government could develop its weapons indigenously. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has personally advocated for the agreement, dating back to 2014, after it had been previously canceled.

IAI won contracts to supply active electronically scanned array radars and electronic warfare systems worth $60 million to an unnamed Asian country.

After losing two bids to sell UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) to Belgium and Australia last month, IAI won a contract to provide Vietnam with three Heron 1 drones worth $160 million.

IAI’s Drone Guard successfully intercepted unauthorized UAVs during the G20 summit in Argentina earlier this month. The system, which cost Buenos Aires $5 million, interferes with a drone’s electronics, stopping it without using kinetic force.

Regional Developments

Russian diplomats hosted Hamas leader Ismael Haniyeh and senior Fatah advisor Nabil Sha’ath in Moscow for talks on how to implement a long-stalled Palestinian unity agreement in early December. Russia hopes to gain influence among Palestinians ahead of the Trump administration’s planned release of an Israeli-Palestinian peace roadmap. Recent events, including the downing of a Russian airplane over Syria and President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, have driven a wedge between the U.S. and Israel on one side, and the Palestinians and Russia on the other.

The UN General Assembly failed to reach the two-thirds majority needed to pass a resolution condemning Hamas for inciting violence and endangering the lives of Israeli civilians. Eighty-seven countries voted in favor of the measure, with 57 voting against it, and another 33 abstaining. U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley condemned the procedural mechanism used to require a two-thirds majority for passage considering most other resolutions only require a simple majority for passage.