Three hundred U.S. troops joined 400 of their Israel counterparts for Juniper Falcon 19, part of a series of bilateral exercises to increase interoperability and mutual cooperation between the to countries. The drill comes after a March 2018 training which included the IDF, 2,500 U.S. troops in Europe and 2,000 soldiers from Israel.
The IDF completed a week-long exercise in late January to simulate a possible Hezbollah or Hamas attack on an offshore hydrocarbon installation. Named Raging Sea, the training included four Sa’ar 4.5-class corvettes conducting live-fire war games against a simulated enemy vessel.
According to Qatari newspaper al-Arab, former Saudi Arabian intelligence head Turki Al-Faisal claims that Israeli relations with some Gulf states started up to 25 years ago.
Foreign Military Sales
The U.S. Army bought Iron Dome batteries from Israel for an undisclosed amount to fulfill a requirement for Indirect Fire Protection Capability. The missile defense battery will help the army replace more expensive Patriot systems to counter shorter range mortars and rockets.
The Philippine government awarded Elbit a contract to supply 15 armored mortar carriers as part of a modernization program that will last through 2022.
The German Army will begin testing the Israeli-made Trophy active protection system on its Leopard 2 tanks later this year. Seventeen tanks will be outfitted with the system, which can intercept incoming RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) with integration of the vehicles completed by 2021.
A news report indicates that Elbit’s North American subsidiary plans to bid for new contracts along the U.S.-Mexico border as the Trump administration continues to push for greater security along the boundary. Elbit already operates dozens of high-tech, unmanned watchtowers along 200 miles of the frontier in Arizona under a 2015 agreement with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol for $145 million.
Israeli Military Technologies
Israel and the U.S. successfully tested the Arrow 3 interceptor last month. The system completes the Jewish State’s multi-layer anti-missile defense shield by targeting long-range ICBMs outside the earth’s atmosphere.
In late January the Indian Navy successfully tested another Barak-8 surface-to-air missile interceptor. The system will be deployed to ships following New Delhi’s decision to award a $777 million contract to Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) last year.
IAI showcased its Drone Guard to the news media following recent reports of unauthorized airborne vehicles at airports in Newark, N.J. and London. The system, originally unveiled in 2015, uses radar and optical sensors to identify the drone before beaming electronic interference at it to down the vehicle.
The United States announced in early February that it had cut all aid to the Palestinian Authority, at the request of the Palestinian leadership, following a January 31 deadline for implementation of the Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act (ATCA). Under the ATCA, the PA would be placed under the jurisdiction of U.S. civil courts and any aid could be seized by American plaintiffs seeking recourse for Palestinian acts of terrorism.