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topIn This Issue  - May 2012 


Technology     Missile Defense     U.S.-Israel Cooperation


Egypt Watch     Odds and Ends     Levant Watch     Iran Watch


Gulf Watch      Turkey Watch     Old and New Allies   



Double BarrelThe IDF is receiving new tank shells, known as M339s, which explode only after penetrating targets, thus enhancing its lethality. Also, a new Israeli assault rifle will feature twin barrels, the first such gun to be made in Israel. 


IDF units are now using "Tzayad," a software program that allows units to share information on the location of friendly and hostile forces in the battlefield, much like a GPS program. Unit commanders can upload information about the disposition of forces and "Tzayad" then determines whether the unit is in need of resupply or reinforcement.


As a result of the increased threat from man-portable surface-to-air missiles, the Israel Air Force has initiated plans to develop a protective anti-missile shield for its helicopters. Developed by Rafael, the "Fliker" system recently completed its first successful test. It is activated when automatically discharged flares fail to divert the incoming missile.


As part of its increasing demand for stealth missions far from its borders, the IDF is considering adding an airborne insertion and extraction unit to its newly created Depth Corps that would be built around a squadron of U.S. V-22 Ospreys, a tilt-rotor aircraft. No order has yet been placed.


Israel continues to be at the forefront of UAV technology, whether it be in cooperation with allies such as the U.S. and UK or deployment on the home front. (Arie Egozi, "Sting like a Bee, Land on the Back", IsraelDefense, April 25, 2012) 


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missiledefenseMissile Defense


The House Armed Services Strategic Forces subcommittee has approved nearly $1bil in U.S. aid to Israeli anti-missile programs: $680mil to Iron Dome, $119mil for Arrow, and $150mil for David's Sling. This would represent a nearly four-fold increase in U.S. funding from FY2012. While both the Arrow and David Sling's programs are joint U.S.-Israeli systems, House lawmakers are also seeking proprietary rights to Israel's Iron Dome system.


The Israel Air Force will receive a new, upgraded Arrow missile interceptor-Block 4-in the coming weeks. Israel intends to hold the first interception of the Arrow 3 in the coming months.


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usisraelcoopU.S.-Israel Cooperation


Schwartz-NehushtanOutgoing IAF commander Maj. Gen. Ido Nehushtan received the Legion of Merit from USAF Commander Gen. Norton Schwartz. In the certificate accompanying the medal, General Schwartz thanked the IAF for its intelligence sharing: "This information assisted the United States Air Force efforts in overseas contingency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan."


Israel's on order F-35 Lightning II (Joint Strike Fighter) fighters will be armed with a mix of U.S.- and Israeli-made weapon systems. Israel expects delivery of the first batch of F-35s in 2017.


The United States currently stockpiles $800mil - set to rise to $1.2bil - worth of materiel in Israel. The reserves are intended for American use during war, but Israel may use the equipment in an emergency with U.S. approval.


The United States and 16 other countries are holding a three-week exercise, dubbed Eager Lion 2012, in Jordan under the aegis of U.S. Special Operations Command Central Command. Involving 12,000 troops, the traditionally annual bilateral exercise has been expanded and includes live-fire drills and is occurring throughout the Hashemite Kingdom. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey visited Jordan in late April in anticipation of the exercise.


Elbit System's Large Area Display was chosen by Boeing to provide the advanced avionics systems for its fighters, including upgrades to the F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and the F-15SE Silent Eagle. (Page 8)


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egyptwatchEgypt Watch


Tensions in the Sinai continue to rise as several Egyptian policemen were killed in clashes last month in the desert peninsula. More UN observers, this time from Fiji, were briefly kidnapped in early May as Egyptian security forces launched an operation to quell the anarchy in the Sinai.


"Loose" Libyan missiles continue to have a security effect across the region. Two rockets were fired at Eilat in early April were of Libyan origin. More recently, Egyptian authorities seized a large shipment of missiles and weapons smuggled from Libya, including 40 surface-to-surface missiles, 17 RPG launchers, and 10,000 artillery shells.


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oddsandendsOdds and Ends


Israel is considering sending a small, 14-man police force to South Sudan, though the decision is on hold pending the spiraling violence in that country.


Washington has given Tunisia $32mil in military aid since the overthrow of the Ben Ali regime. 35 Tunisian soldiers are also being trained in the United States.


Israel has developed sophisticated port security measures, including the deployment of Elbit Systems' "Stingray" and Rafael's "Protector", both unmanned surface vehicles. The Israeli navy has developed Underwater Special Missions Groups, known as "Snapir" (fin) units, dedicated to underwater port protection.


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levantwatchLevant Watch

The situation in Syria continues to deteriorate despite a UN-sponsored ceasefire and deployment of observers. Russia and Iran, which is accused of using Iraqi airspace to shuttle weapons to the Syrian regime, have both remained firm supporters of the Assad regime.


Hezbollah BasesSatellite images of Lebanon have revealed large and overt Hezbollah military training facilities in the eastern Bekaa Valley.


The Israeli Navy is currently  evaluating the deployment of anti-missile systems, David's Sling or the Barak 8, to its Mediterranean gas rigs to defend against the increased threat of Syrian or Hezbollah missile fire.


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iranwatchIran Watch  


The U.S. Navy is looking to develop a system that would detect Iranian small surface fleet swarming tactics in the Persian Gulf.


Officials from Iran's ballistic missile program were present at North Korea's failed missile launch last month, laying bare the cooperation between the two countries.

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gulfwatchGulf Watch 


The Gulf Cooperation Council's (GCC) Peninsula Shield force recently completed a two-day military exercise-codenamed Islands of Loyalty-involving air, ground, and naval forces.


Iraq will receive the first two-dozen of its ordered F-16 fighter jets in early 2014. 


Washington is returning military trainers to Yemen-possibly including special operation forces-in order to counter the spiraling al-Qaeda threat in that country. In recent weeks, U.S. airstrikes on Yemeni targets have increased as news emerged that the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Yemen had foiled a major, Yemen-based plot to blow up a U.S.-bound airliner. 


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turkeywatchTurkey Watch

Despite denials by both the United States and NATO, reports persisted that Israel was being blocked by Turkey from attending the upcoming NATO summit in Chicago. Thirteen other non-NATO member partners will attend the summit. Earlier in the year, Turkey vetoed Israeli participation in a NATO operation in the Mediterranean.


In order to replace Israeli-made Heron UAVs, Turkey is spending $70mil to lease 5 U.S.-built Beechcraft King Air 350 twin turboprop airplanes for observation and intelligence collection.


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oldandnewOld and New Allies

Israel has  received its fourth German-built, Dolphin-class submarine, the INS Tanin. Representing the "long arm" of the Israeli navy, the delivery exemplifies close German-Israeli military cooperation.


Barak ColombiaIsraeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak visited Colombia last month, meeting with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Minister of Defense Juan Carlos Pinzon. Colombia is a purchaser of Israeli defense systems and has been a friend of the Jerusalem over the last decade.


Finland has selected the Israeli-made Orbiter 2 UAV as its future tactical UAV. The $30mil contract to purchase hundreds of mini-UAVs marks Finland's second purchase of an Israeli UAV system, having operated the Ranger for the last 15 years.

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Security Digest newsletter is a monthly bulletin covering U.S.-Israel security cooperation. Distributed by e-mail, Security Digest is edited by JINSA Visiting Fellow Gabriel Scheinmann. Each issue features news articles covering all aspects of U.S.-Israel cooperation with a focus on the military as well as an analytical article by Mr. Scheinmann. Look for Security Digest every month in your e-mail inbox. To give us feedback, simply reply to this email.
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