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usisraelU.S.-Israel Cooperation  

 

Although announced last year, the Obama Administration formally notified Congress its intention to sell six V-22B Osprey aircraft to Israel, the first country allowed to purchase the aircraft, in a $1.13 billion package.

 

As part of a larger spending bill, the House of Representatives approved $3.1 billion in security assistance for Israel, restoring sequester-cut aid. The House also passed $268.7 million in funding for joint U.S.-Israel missile defense programs.

 

The U.S.S. Stout, a Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, made a scheduled port visit to Haifa last month. 

 

IBM, Lockheed Martin, and EMC will invest millions of dollars in cyber research operations in Beersheba, where Israel is building a "cyber-hub."

 

The American Air Force Medical Department and the IDF Medical Corps signed a Terms of Reference agreement, enabling greater cooperation in battlefield rescue and humanitarian missions. 

 

Earlier this month, eight members of the LAPD visited Israel, meeting with Israeli officials, companies, and counterparts to learn more about policing technology solutions. 

 

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missileMissile Defense   

 

Rafael unveiled Iron Beam, a new high-energy laser anti-rocket system that will complement Iron Dome. By using a directed-energy weapon, Iron Beam is cheaper, has a smaller footprint, has an unlimited magazine, and reduces collateral damages. A battery consists of a battle management and C3 module, a radar for initial target acquisition, and multiple laser effectors. 

 

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turkeyTurkey Watch  

 

Turkey and Algeria signed a defense cooperation agreement with the intent of engaging in joint R&D projects.

 

Nearly 15 years after originally signing the deal, Turkey's first of four Boeing 737 Peace Eagle Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft will formally enter service this month.

 

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egyptEgypt Watch     

 

Last month, Congress unveiled a bill that would restore $1.5 billion in military and economic aid to Egypt, largely suspended last fall, if and once Egypt followed through on its self-designed electoral plans. Meanwhile, according to an Egyptian newspaper, Russia and Egypt have finalized a $2 billion arms deal financed by Saudi Arabia.

 

With little fanfare, Israel is allowing the Egyptian Army to deploy heavy weaponry in the northern Sinai, in contravention of the peace treaty. The new Egyptian regime has demonstrated an increased determination to crack down on jihadi violence in the Sinai and against Hamas, an offshoot of the now deposed Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. Earlier this month, Iron Dome intercepted a rocket fired from Sinai over Eilat by an Egyptian jihadist group.

 

In an escalation of the simmering terrorist attacks in Egypt, four bombs went off in Cairo late last month. Since last July's military coup, various Islamist groups have embarked on a violent campaign, which included the first-ever downing of an Egyptian military helicopter by a surface-to-air-missile. Militants have also repeatedly attacked a natural gas pipeline in the Sinai.

 

La Tribune reported that Cairo would soon exercise an over $1 billion option for two Type 209 diesel electric submarines from a German manufacturer. The first submarine is expected to be delivered in 2016.

 

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gulfGulf Watch    

 

The U.S., UK, and Bahrain participated in Falcon Defender, a fast-paced naval exercise designed to practice cargo escorts in dangerous waters.

 

Pakistan agreed to supply basic trainer aircraft to and help train the personnel of the Iraqi Air Force.

 

 

Emirati troops
The UAE introduced a mandatory, nine-month military service for all men between the ages of 18 and 30. The UAE and Bahrain completed a three-day, live ammunition, special forces training exercise, dubbed Wolf's Claw.

 

Oman signed a $1.28 billion deal with Raytheon to purchase the ground-based National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS).

 

Congress cleared the way for the previously announced sale of Apache helicopters and Hellfire missiles to Iraq, as Baghdad grapples with the greatest bout in violence since the U.S. withdrawal. The Administration also announced the $700 million sale of air traffic control and landing systems to be installed at four air bases in Iraq. Rocket fire has recently penetrated the fortified Green Zone in Baghdad.

 

Iran claimed to have successfully test-fired two new missiles, a long-range ballistic missile and a laser-guided short-range missile.

 

The UAE Naval Force has launched its sixth and final Bayunah-class corvette, armed with an Oto Malara 76 mm main gun, MBDA Exocet MM 40 Block III anti-ship missiles and Raytheon RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow surface-to-air missiles.

 

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levantLevant Watch

 

The spillover of the Syrian civil war into Lebanon escalated last month as several suicide bomb attacks punctuated Hezbollah areas and sniper fire continues to claim lives. The war in Syria continues unabated.

 

This past week, the U.S. Army delivered 136 Humvees to the Lebanese Armed Forces.

 

The Jordanian Armed Forces has ordered four multi-purpose armored platform APCs, which are made from the hulls of former Centurion tanks.

 

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techTechnology Watch 

 

This month, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) formally unveiled the Super Heron HF, a faster model of its popular Heron UAV. The Super Heron operates a 200-horsepower heavy fuel engine, has a maximum takeoff weight of 3,200lbs., and can remain airborne for up to 45 hours.

 

In January, the School for Computer Professions, part of the IDF's Center of Computing and Information Systems, is running two courses to train Israeli soldiers to defend against cyber attacks. Graduates go on to serve every branch of the IDF.

 

The Israeli Navy, together with the Israeli Air Force, is extending the service of its Westwind 1124 maritime patrol aircraft until a suitable manned substitute is found. Israel operates both manned and unmanned aircraft to patrol its maritime borders.

 

IAI's Panther unmanned tilt-rotor aircraft has a new power pack comprised of two separate lithium-ion batteries that will allow it to stay in the air with a payload for over 6 hours. One battery is used for the vertical takeoff and landing phases of flight, with the other employed during cruise conditions.

 

IAI unveiled the Katana, an unmanned surface vessel designed to protect critical offshore infrastructure. The Katana is equipped with various payloads (including electro-optical), communication systems, radio (Line of Site, LOS, or NLOS), radar and weapon systems.

 

At the Singapore Airshow, Israel Military Industries (IMI) displayed for the first time an advanced Coast & Islands Defense System (CDIS), a radar and sensor system that tracks threats and launches missiles against coastal threats.

 

IAI unveiled its advanced Combat Team Battle Management System (CT-BMS), a system specifically designed to address the challenges of tactical land forces command, control, collaboration and real-time situational awareness.

 

The 7th Armored Brigade, based in the Golan Heights, is about to replace its two-decade old Merkava Mark II tanks with the Merkava Mark IV, equipped with the Trophy anti-tank missile shield.

 

Elta successfully demonstrated the ELM-2311 tactical C-RAM radar, a compact, mobile, multi-function Artillery Weapon radar, as well as a hostile Weapon Launch Locator C-Band Radar system, during a live fire test. The radar detected and tracked the incoming projectiles, while simultaneously designating launch and impact point coordinates with high accuracy.

 

IAI successfully demonstrated the firing of LAHAT (Laser Homing Attack) missiles from helicopters. It has a ground launch range of 8 km (10 km from helicopters), can be supplied a variety of mission-customized warheads, and can be launched from ships, vehicles and helicopters.

 

Elbit Systems introduced "Treasures," a new system of unattended ground sensors designed for intelligence gathering, force protection and augmenting border surveillance, by enhancing situational awareness, localizing suspected activity and providing early warning for security forces.

 

Israeli-made security systems are integral to providing security for the Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

 

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oldandnewOld and New Allies 

 

Israeli-Finish defense ties are increasing. First, Israel's Beth-El will shield the advanced Combat Support Service Vessels of the Finnish Navy against Weapon of Mass Destruction attacks. The cooperation is part of a project for the supply of 12 "Watercat M18" landing craft for the Finnish Navy. Second, Finland is purchasing advanced multispectral camouflage systems from Fibrotex Technologies of Israel in a potentially $47 million deal. Finally, Israel's Aeronautics Defense Systems will soon deliver 50 Orbiter mini UAVs to the Finnish Army as part of an order of 200 to be delivered this year.

 

The Israeli and Greek Cypriot Air Forces conducted a joint exercise. 32 Israeli and Greek Cypriot F15s and F16s flew over Cyprus.

 

Israel and Kazakhstan signed a security cooperation accord, providing an umbrella for cultivating future defense ties and arms sales. 

 

In a $19.7 million sale, the Philippines has agreed to purchase 28 light armored vehicles made by Israel's Elta Systems. It also signed a deal to acquire three air search radars from Elta to be delivered over the next two years.

 

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz participated in the annual summits of NATO chiefs of defense.

 

In six months time, India and Israel are expected to sign a contract to jointly build an integrated anti-missile system with participation by Rafael and IAI in partnership with DRDO and state-owned Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL). The system will integrate the India's Prithvi air defense system, which is ready for induction next year, with the mobile detection radar being built by BEL in partnership with IAI. India's Pip Vav is also collaborating with Rafael on the Typhoon cannon for medium and large ships.

 

Elbit has developed a new version of the Autonomous Truck Mounted howitzer System (ATMOS) 155 mm/39-calibre SP artillery system for the Royal Thai Army. The ATMOS platform is designed to operate the 155mm/52 caliber tube, but in Thailand the Army opted for the 155mm/39 caliber howitzer using a 66 truck. The ATMOS has already been demonstrated implemented on 88 trucks, carrying 54 caliber guns.

 

IAI is opening a new cyber research center in Singapore, comprised of professional computer analysts, scientists, and engineers.

 

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oddsendsOdds and Ends   

  • Israel suffered twice as many terrorist attacks in 2013 than the year before. While rocket and mortar fire from Gaza massively decreased (2,657 to 75), the number of attacks in the West Bank doubled, from 578 to 1,271. 2014 has already seen an escalation in rocket fire from Gaza.
  • The U.S.S. Elrod conducted passing exercises with the Tunisian and Moroccan navies, exchanging techniques such as damage control and boarding operations.
  • Capping a decade-long effort interrupted by war, a U.S.-led team has completed the destruction of the last remnants of Gaddafi's chemical weapons arsenal.
  • As part of a program that will eventually train 2,000 Libyan soldiers, 340 Libyan army recruits have arrived in Italy for basic training. The country is in dire need of professional forces as violence has derailed both political and economic stability.
  • The U.S. and French navies completed five weeks of combined carrier group operations in and around the Persian Gulf. During the operations, U.S. F/A-18s landed and conducted operations from the Charles de Gaulle, France's aircraft carrier, and French aircraft landed and launched from the U.S.S. Truman.

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Security Digest newsletter is a monthly bulletin covering U.S.-Israel security cooperation and much more. Distributed by e-mail, Security Digest is compiled by 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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