Homefront Command in Israel modified its system to alert civilians to incoming missile attacks. Homefront Command is responsible for alerting civilians to a range of threats, and prior to a couple of weeks ago, Israel was split into 255 alert areas. Now, Israel is divided into 1,700 alert areas, reducing unnecessary anxiety and increasing public confidence in the system.
Israeli Air Force will return a fleet of cargo and refueling planes to service in mid-July after grounding them in May. The IAF and the government announced that they had fixed the immediate shortcomings on the fleet of Karnaf C-130 cargo planes and Re’em Boeing 707 refueling planes, allowing them to return to normal operation. The government developed a plan to further ensure the quality assurance and improved maintenance of the planes.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is working toward an initial public offering. The CEO said that the state of Israel remains the company’s priority. The company is currently owned by the state, with only bonds trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Initiating a public offering would give the company the influx of cash needed for growth.
Israel and the U.S.
BIRD, the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation, has committed to spending $8.2 million to fund nine new joint U.S.-Israel projects. The organization promotes collaboration between the two nations across multiple technological fields. The nine new products will make for a total 991 projects sponsored by BIRD in its 42-year history.
Israeli Military Technology
Israeli Drone Maker Aeronautics signed a $10 million contract with an unnamed South American government to supply UAVs and support services.
Israeli robotic vision start-up Lirhot Systems is working on an innovative way to think about fully autonomous vehicles. While there has been much buzz around the concept of self-driving cars, there has been some disagreement among scientists on the most effective way to produce the product. Lirhot is taking its inspiration from insects, and specifically bees, to guide the design of camera sensors. The CEO, Shlomi Voro, told The Jerusalem Post that, “In nature, you have bugs and insects that navigate in a specific way, and we’re copying that to enable autonomous vehicles to see.”
Israeli space-tech startup NSLComm will change the game of satellite communications when it launches the first expandable high-performance communications nanosatellite. The nanosatellite’s technology is designed to meet global demand for increased connectivity. NSLSat-1 NSLComm has the ability to transmit communications 100 times faster than today’s leading nanosatellites, but at a fraction of the cost, according to the company.
Foreign Military Sales
Amazon’s growing aircraft fleet creates business for Israel Aerospace Industries, which has worked since 2015 on converting Amazon’s fleet of Boeing 767 aircraft. Amazon claims it will have a fleet of 70 aircraft by 2021.
The U.S. Senate pushed back on President Trump’s arms deal with Saudi Arabia. President Trump used the emergency provisions in the Arms Export Control Act to conduct arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has pushed a bipartisan bill, called the Saudi Arabia False Emergencies (SAFE) Act, to further restrict the military sales between the United States and Saudi Arabia. Though the House is expected to follow the Senate in supporting the bill, it is unlikely that Congress will have enough support to overturn a presidential veto.
Jewish Policy Center intern Catherine Goodwin compiled this report.