Security Digest Banner

topIn This Issue  - July 2012 


U.S.-Israel Cooperation     Egypt Watch     Levant Watch


Technology     Gulf Watch     Missile Defense     Odds and Ends 

usisraelU.S.-Israel Cooperation    


Boeing and Elbit Systems have signed a memorandum of understanding to market Elbit's Hermes UAVs in the United States and to its allies.


Following passage by the House (H.R. 4133) in May, the U.S. Senate passed the U.S.-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act (S. 2165), intended to help the two countries' militaries cooperate more easily across a broad swath of areas. The two versions must now be reconciled before they can be sent to the President for his signature.


Israel was once again excluded from a meeting of the Global Counterterrorism Forum in Spain this month, after having been barred from the inaugural meeting in Istanbul last month. Reports suggest that the Obama administration again acquiesced to Israel's exclusion at the behest of Turkey and Arab members of the Forum.


Back to top 

egyptEgypt Watch


Border In response to the rising threats in the Sinai, the IDF has taken a series of measures to beef up security. It has expedited the completion of a security barrier along the border, to be completed by October, and has increased border surveillance through new radar systems, observation balloons, and doubling the number of lookouts. Israel's southern border will now be equipped with the same surveillance mechanisms as its borders with Lebanon and Gaza.


Egyptian authorities intercepted another convoy of Libyan arms headed for the Sinai or Gaza, including 138 Grad rockets and over 7,000 rounds of ammunition. Jerusalem also fears that Libyan naval mines may be smuggled into Gaza.


Back to top 

levantLevant Watch

The civil war in Syria continues unabated and has begun to spill across borders. Refugees continue to flee into Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, and Jordan. Also, the Syrian government shot down a Turkish F-4 Phantom jet over the Mediterranean, killing its two crewmen and shots fired across the border killed several civilians in Lebanon. Meanwhile, Russia has dispatched a group of ships to Syria, including several amphibious landing vessels.


Back to top  



In order to protect its offshore natural gas fields (and itself) against amphibious terror attacks, Israel is increasing its investment in its navy. The IDF is concerned that terrorists from Sinai and Gaza might try to swim or sail into Eilat, Ashkelon, or Ashdod, detonate an explosives-laden ship alongside Israeli vessels in the Red Sea, or target ships with anti-ship missiles. The Israeli Navy is looking to secure an additional NIS 3 billion in funding to purchase four 1,200-ton vessels that can accommodate an advanced radar system, a helicopter, as well as a launch system capable of firing long-range air defense - and surface-to-surface missiles. The surface-to-surface missiles would allow the Navy to provide fire support for ground forces.


The IDF has completed the installation of the Trophy active protection system on the first brigade of Merkava MK 4 main battle tanks. The system successfully intercepted a rocket-propelled grenade last year along the Gaza border.


The IDF recently tested a new siren that will notify the public of incoming missiles with non-conventional payloads. Based on intelligence, the new siren will allow citizens to know whether they need to use gasmasks.


J-MUSIC Elbit Systems introduced a new system to protect commercial aircraft from shoulder-fired missiles. Building off its "C-MUSIC" system unveiled last year, "J-MUSIC" is lightweight and can protect against multiple missiles simultaneously.


The Israel Air Force is reviewing a new, hyperspectral sensor system for UAVs developed by Elbit Systems that would enable the operator to differentiate the spectral signatures of each target, enhancing tunnel detection along the Gaza border.


Back to top 

gulfGulf Watch


Saudi Arabia intends to purchase 600 to 800 Leopard tanks from Germany, worth $12.6 billion while Washington announced a $1.1 billion arms package to Qatar, including 12 Black Hawk helicopters.


The Iranian Navy announced plans to build 10 additional vessels, including frigates and destroyers, in order to boost its presence in international waters. Earlier this month, Iran's Revolutionary Guard conducted a three-day missile exercise, broadcasting their ability to strike U.S. bases across the Gulf. The Iranian Defense Minister also introduced a new, anti-tank missile known as the "Dehlaviyeh," thought to be a copy of the Russian Kornet.  


Kenyan officials arrested two Iranian agents with 33lbs. of explosives who were intending to attack Israeli, American, British, or Saudi targets. These arrests come on the heels of suspected Iranian attacks on Israeli targets in Azerbaijan, Thailand, Georgia, and India.


Back to top 

missileMissile Defense

As reported in last month's Security Digest, the IDF has deployed an Iron Dome system near Eilat in order to test its operational capability in the area as the rocket threat from the Sinai has increased. Rafael, which developed the system, is expected to produce an even more advanced version by mid-2013.


Col. Brian Searcy, USAF (ret.), in an article for the Canada Free Press, noted that the Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System program (JLENS), built by the Raytheon Company, has not been sent into the field for real world operational tests despite exceeding expectations in stateside tests. U.S. Army officials believe JLENS to be a key component of the service's surveillance sensor network for tracking enemy unmanned aerial vehicles and cruise missiles. JLENS elevates radars to the "high ground" in a pair of aerostats, giving U.S. and Coalition forces a lookdown perspective extending nearly 200 miles against low flying cruise missiles and other threats. It can stay airborne for 30 days with 360-degree, 24 hour/day coverage.


Back to top 

oddsendsOdds and Ends  


The Obama administration has agreed to Morocco's request to upgrade and refurbish 200 M1A1 Abrams tanks. The kingdom will take delivery of the tanks as part of an Excess Defense Article grant. 


Israel's High Court approved further construction on the West Bank security barrier near Gush Etzion and Jerusalem, marking the first time in five years that construction has proceeded on the half-built barrier.


Elbit Systems was awarded a $62 million contract to upgrade Korean C-130 transport aircraft.


Back to top  

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.
Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterVisit our blogView our videos on YouTube