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topIn This Issue  - June 2012 


U.S.-Israel Cooperation     Missile Defense     Old and New Allies


Turkey Watch     Gulf Watch     Levant Watch


Technology     Odds and Ends 

usisraelU.S.-Israel Cooperation   


Netanyahu-NapolitanoSecretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano visited Israel last month, emphasizing the close security ties between the two countries. During the visit, the U.S. and Israel signed a letter of intent permitting Israel's admission to the U.S. Global Entry Program, expediting clearance for Israeli travelers to the U.S. 


Deployed in Israel's Negev, a U.S.-owned and operated X-band radar is capable of detecting Iranian missiles seconds into its flight and a full six minutes earlier than Israel's Green Pine radar.


In addition to the delayed joint exercise Austere Challenge 12, Israel will send fighter jets to the United States for a joint training exercise with the U.S. Air Force in the coming months, according to an Israeli television report. Last month, Israeli and American forces held a joint emergency rescue drill, focusing on disaster response and relief.


In a $32 million deal and example of close U.S.-Israeli defense collaboration, Elbit Systems and Rockwell Collins are supplying Boeing with the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System, the world's leading helmet display for fixed-wing tactical aircraft. The U.S., Israel, and Motorola have teamed up to develop the next generation of industrial control systems, meant to protect key energy, water, and manufacturing infrastructure from attack. The new Motorola ACE-3600 has just been certified for us in Israel. Motorola Solutions has been active in Israel's public safety systems.


The U.S.-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012 (H.R. 4133 and S. 2165) is soon expected to be passed by the Senate, after having been approved by the House. The Act will enhance cooperation across many areas, including joint military exercises, increased Israeli presence at NATO, extending loan guarantees, and making surplus U.S. military gear available to Israel.


Washington has appointed a new United States Security Coordinator (USSC) between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Rear Admiral Paul J. Bushong, previously Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Marianas, will take over the seven-year program where the USSC trains and equips Palestinian Authority security forces to improve the rule of law in the West Bank.


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missileMissile Defense


The IDF and Rafael are working to increase the range of the Iron Dome missile defense system, enabling it to intercept longer-range rockets and decrease the number of batteries needed to blanket the country. The IDF is also preparing to possibly deploy the system to the Eilat area, as the threat of missiles from the Sinai continues to grow.


The U.S. will immediately provide $70 million for additional Iron Dome batteries, as part of a larger, multi-year, billion-dollar aid package for Iron Dome and the jointly-owned U.S. and Israeli missile defense systems. As a result, Israel will soon be capable of deploying ten Iron Dome batteries.  


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oldnewOld and New Allies


Ganz in ChinaLt. Gen. Benny Gantz, IDF Chief of Staff, visited China at the end of May, marking the first visit to China by an IDF chief of staff in 16 years. Gantz's PLA counterpart visited Israel last August. Prime Minister Netanyahu is expected in Beijing soon.


In late May, Israel hosted the annual COMEDS Conference (Committee of the Medical Chief of Military Medical Services). Medical officers from NATO countries attended the conference, led by the IDF, to discuss issues of military medical care and humanitarian aid.


Singapore inaugurated its squadron of new, Israeli-made Heron UAVs, a vast improvement on its previous UAVs, also Israeli-made. Russia is also considering expanding its fleet of Israeli UAVs as part of a $50 million package.


In addition to its purchase of Israeli UAVs, Finland has also selected Elbit Systems to supply "soldier systems" to Finnish infantry commanders for operate command, control, and communications in field operations. The system, comprising of handheld targeting devices and situation awareness software, is intended to enhance reconnaissance and terrain dominance capabilities.


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turkeyTurkey Watch


The Obama administration is lobbying Congress to approve the sale of armed UAVs to Turkey, according to the Turkish president. Prominent Democrats, such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), have opposed the transfer of MQ-9 Reapers to Turkey. Currently, only Great Britain has received American armed UAVs, although the Obama administration is reportedly set to sell them to Italy as well. 


Although Israel has quietly returned to Ankara four of the five Heron UAVs it had held for "maintenance" for over a year, Turkey's AKP government has continued to unravel its once close relationship with Israel. Turkey has indicted four senior IDF officers for their role in the 2010 Flotilla Incident, has reemphasized its rejection to the sharing of data with Israel from the U.S.-operated X-band radar in southeastern Turkey, and excluded Israel from the annual meeting of the Global Counterterrorism Forum held in Istanbul. The Obama administration, despite leading the conference, acquiesced to Israel's exclusion even as many non-NATO countries participated, including six Arab states as well as China and India.


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gulfGulf Watch


Iran announced that it had managed to  independently overhaul one of its three Russian-made submarines and that it had taken the initial steps to building its first nuclear-powered submarine.  


Iraq PoliceThe Obama administration has agreed to sell Scan Eagle unmanned, surveillance UAVs to Iraq to patrol its' offshore oil platforms and terminals. Meanwhile, Washington has drastically cut, and may cancel, its multi-billion dollar police training program in Iraq. 


The U.S. is increasing its already robust naval presence in the Persian Gulf. The Navy has begun a five-year, $580 million expansion and upgrade of its facilities in Bahrain, enabling the handling of up to 30 percent more vessels. As the Navy waits for the deployment of its new Littoral Combat Ships, following its' March announcement, it is doubling the number of minesweepers in the Gulf by next month, as a precaution against Iranian naval threats.


Boeing delivered a fifth C-17 Globemaster III, a large military transport aircraft, to the UAE air force. The UAE is Boeing's sixth international C-17 customer and received its first plane last year. Meanwhile, BAE Systems has signed a $2.5 billion deal with Saudi Arabia to supply it with 22 Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers and 55 Pilatus PC-21 turboprops and Oman has ordered eight Airbus C295 aircraft. 


Following a visit to Washington by the Bahraini Crown Prince, the Obama administration announced it was moving forward with several military sales to Bahrain, including harbor patrol boats, communications equipment, AMRAAM air-to-air missile systems, and Seahawk helicopters amongst other items. While the Administration is maintaining its hold on several other bigger ticket items, the move is drawing controversy as the U.S. ally continues to clamp down on protests related to the "Arab Spring."


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levantLevant Watch

Eager LionThe U.S., Jordan, and 17 other countries concluded Eager Lion 2012, joint military exercises in Jordan, as neighbors began to fear possible regional spillover from the Syrian civil war. Washington has also dispatched  35 personal radiation detectors to the Hashemite Kingdom, which is worried about the flow of radioactive material from Syria. 


As reported in January's Security Digest, the Israeli government ordered the IDF to begin planning a new barrier along Israel's Jordanian border. The IDF is also introducing a multi-sensor system that allows observation deep into Jordanian territory, duplicating the system in place along the Egyptian border. Israel is increasingly worried about the infiltration of drugs, arms, and migrants across its borders in the wake of the "Arab Spring." The IDF, in coordination with Jordan, also detonated 700 landmines along the border as part of a nine-year effort to convert the area into agricultural lands.


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The IDF continues to expand its cyberwarfare capabilities,  graduating its first class of "Cyber Defenders," tasked with defending IDF networks from hackers. Veterans of Unit 8200 of IDF Military Intelligence have been leading innovators of high-tech security technology. The IDF employs a cyber-simulator to train military personnel to protect critical infrastructure. Israeli officials hinted that, in the future, the IDF will have to rely more on cyberoperations in order to avoid unhinging sensitive diplomatic situations.


Nano UAVIsrael also continues to be a world-leader in the development of mini- and nano-UAVs. Israeli technologies were on full display at two international conferences hosted by Israel last month, the annual Interpol European Regional Conference, which brought 100 senior law enforcement officers from 49 countries to Israel, and a homeland security conference which drew 37 mayors from two dozen cities worldwide.


For the first time in five years, the IDF held water-crossing exercises. Tanks and commando units participated in the exercise, with an eye to neutralizing missile threats deep into enemy territory.  


The IDF Armored Corps will implement groundbreaking changes in the upcoming weeks, significantly increasing tank firepower capabilities. Strict safety regulations were recently altered, enabling an entire company of tanks moving forward in a straight line to simultaneously fire at enemy targets. 


The annual Eurosatory International Exhibition was recently held in Paris, exhibiting cutting-edge Israeli military technology. Represented by Elbit Systems, Rafael, Plasan, IAI, and Elta, Israel's defense industry demonstrated its latest items, from vehicle protection to sensor systems to communication systems.


The IDF is considering equipping its field commanders with smartphones installed with specifically designed and encrypted applications aimed at improving operational control. Combat soldiers may also one day be equipped with equipment capable of intercepting rockets, a miniature version of the Iron Dome system.


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oddsOdds and Ends  


"Loose" Libyan missiles continue to make their way eastward. Egyptian security forces intercepted nearly 50 short-range surface-to-air missiles, 96,000 rounds of ammunition, and more than 190 rockets on their way to the Sinai and Gaza. U.S. UAVs continue to monitor eastern Libya as fears of Islamist militias rise.


The Sudanese government has accused Israel of being behind a car explosion late last month in Port Sudan. Sudan has often accused Israel of conducting airstrikes on Sudanese territory, which has been a major transit country for weapons originating from Iran and flowing to Gaza.


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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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