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topJanuary 2013 


U.S.-Israel Cooperation     Missile Defense     Gulf Watch


Turkey Watch     Egypt Watch     Old and New Allies


Technology     Odds and Ends 

usisraelU.S.-Israel Cooperation


Iron Dome President Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2013. This year, the U.S. is granting Israel $211 million to purchase additional Iron Dome batteries as well as Tamir interceptors and is contributing $268 million towards the joint U.S.-Israel "Israeli Cooperative" Programs, which include David's Sling, Arrow 2, and Arrow 3. Once the corresponding National Defense Appropriation Act is passed in the coming months, the funding will represent a nearly four-fold increase of the president's original request.


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missileMissile Defense


Israel Home Front Defense Minister Avi Dichter revealed that the operation of Iron Dome during Israel's recent conflict with Hamas cost $27 million. As a result of Operation Pillar of Defense, Israel has not suffered a single rocket attack since the ceasefire-the quietest period in at least four years.


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gulfGulf Watch

In a $4 billion deal, Oman has agreed to purchase 12 Typhoon fighter jets and 8 Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer aircraft from BAE Systems with delivery expected in 2017. Washington has agreed to upgrade Oman's F-16 fleet, by allowing a $117 million sale of medium-range air-to-air missiles as well as several hundred laser-guided and general-purpose bombs.


The U.S. has also approved a $406 million arms package with Qatar, consisting of highly mobile rocket systems and long-range guided missiles for field operations. Meanwhile, the U.S. delivered two, 200-foot offshore support ships to the fledgling Iraqi navy.


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turkeyTurkey Watch


The U.S, Germany, and The Netherlands began deploying Patriot missile batteries to southwestern Turkey in early January. 400 U.S. forces will be based at Gaziantep, roughly 30miles north of the Syrian border, while the German and Dutch forces will be based at Kahramanmaras and Adana respectively. The anti-missile batteries should be operational by early February at the latest and have been deployed to protect against Syrian missile launches.


In a possibly related action, Turkey has reportedly agreed to lift its veto of Israeli participation in NATO activities, although will still insist on a ban of joint military maneuvers.


The Obama Administration has agreed to sell Turkey 117 Sidewinder missiles and associated tactical guidance units at a cost of $140 million, as part of the latter's efforts to modernize its air force. Concurrently, Ankara postponed an order to purchase its first two F-35 fighter jets due to the rising cost of the troubled weapons program. It is seeking to ultimately purchase over 100 F-35s to replace its fleet of F-4 Phantoms and F-16 Falcons.


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egyptEgypt Watch


Egyptian forces stopped several large arms shipments headed for Gaza, including missiles of French and American origin. However, the tunnels under the Sinai-Gaza border have been rebuilt and Hamas has been rearmed.


Israel continues to take steps to secure its border with Egypt. It has completed-except for a seven-mile stretch through Eilat that will be completed in May-its 144-mile long border fence. The border fence is 16feet tall and consists of barbed wire as well as cameras and radars for remote surveillance. Additionally, the IDF inaugurated a new southern regional brigade for the Eilat region, tasked with defending the area against terrorist threats.


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levantLevant Watch 

The Syrian civil war continues unabated, although rebel forces have unveiled increasingly heavy weapons as they seek to topple the Assad regime. Opposition forces control most towns along the Turkish and Israeli borders.


Israel announced that it would begin construction on a border fence along its current 55 mile-long armistice line with Syria in the Golan Heights. The new fence will be similar to the one being completed along the Egyptian border and will replace the existing, patchwork barrier. The new fence is expected to be completed this year.


Israeli intelligence provided the U.S. with evidence that the Assad regime was filling 500-pound bombs with sarin nerve gas, prompting the U.S. and others to publicly and privately warn Assad against the use of chemical weapons. As a result, the regime supposedly stopped the chemical mixing and bomb preparation. The episode is another example of the benefits Washington receives from its military alliance with Jerusalem.


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 oldnewOld and New Allies   


The Israeli Navy is planning to purchase four offshore patrol vessels, likely from South Korea, to defend its eastern Mediterranean gas fields. Each surface ship, estimated to cost $100 million, will be outfitted with a helicopter as well as combat systems.


The Israel Air Force is gearing up to host a major, multinational aerial exercise, dubbed "Blue Plug," which will practice bombing runs and air-to-air combat. Flying out of the Uvda Airbase in the Negev, the exercise will reportedly involve up to 100 aircraft and at least five European countries.


Israel Aerospace Industries signed a memorandum of understanding with India's Bharat Electronics for future Long Range Surface to Air Missile ship-defense systems.


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Tavor The IDF is in the midst of entirely phasing out its U.S.-made M-16 assault rifles in favor of the Israeli-made Tavor (TAR-21) assault rifle, which has been in service for over a decade.


The Israeli Ministry of Defense is developing a new family of light armored vehicles for urban warfare in 2020. The fifth-generation manned combat vehicle, known by its Israel acronym "Rakiya" (Horizon in English) will be optimized for urban settings and be faster and lighter than Merkava Mk4 tanks.


Elbit Systems will begin upgrading the Israel Air Force's current fleet of C-130H Hercules transport aircraft, extending the operational life of the aircrafts as well as improving their capabilities with the inclusion of digital cockpit and new radars


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oddendsOdds and Ends

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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. Look for Security Digest every month in your e-mail inbox. To give us feedback, simply reply to this email.
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