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usisraelU.S.-Israel Cooperation  


The House of Representatives passed H.R. 938, The United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act. The Act declares Israel to be a "major strategic partner" of the United States and aims to enhance cooperation on a host of bilateral issues, from security to energy. The Senate is expected to take up the bill soon.


Earlier this month, the Israeli Air Force trained with American forces on the V-22 Osprey. Israel may double its order of V-22 Ospreys, from 6 to 12.


Israel's Elbit Systems won a $145 million border surveillance contract from the Department of Homeland Security to construct a series of surveillance towers on the Arizona-Mexico border. The Integrated Fixed Tower Project will outfit security posts with radars and cameras to detect human movements  and will be carried out by Elbit's U.S. subsidiary, which is based in Fort Worth, Texas.


Following the destruction wrought by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, New York enlisted Briefcam, an Israeli video technology company, to help protect the Statue of Liberty.


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missileMissile Defense   


In the largest escalation of rocket fire since Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012, Palestinian Islamic Jihad fired over 70 rockets into Israel last week. Iron Dome intercepted a number of them and there were no Israeli casualties.


In its FY2015 budget request, the Obama Administration sought $176 million for Iron Dome and $97 million for the Israeli Cooperative, which includes David's Sling, Arrow 2, and Arrow 3. Although both signal large decreases from last year's final appropriations, Congress is expected to substantially increase the allocation, perhaps by as much as $350 million. The funding is in addition to the $3.1 billion Israel receives annually in foreign military funds.


The United States and Israel signed a landmark agreement, transferring $429 million to Israel to support Iron Dome procurement while also shifting a substantial proportion of the manufacturing of its batteries to the United States. Unlike the other joint missile defense programs, Iron Dome had been entirely developed and produced in Israel.


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gulfGulf Watch  


Twenty-five years after the Lockerbie bombing, a new documentary citing a former Iranian intelligence officer blames Iran for what was, until 9-11, the deadliest terror attack on American citizens.


Last month, Kuwait received its first of two Boeing C-17 Globemaster III, a large transport aircraft. Earlier this month, the Obama Administration announced the sale of two additional Patriot air defense fire units to Kuwait for $655 million.


Saudi Arabia has agreed to a 14-year, $10 billion agreement with General Dynamics for an undisclosed number of light-armored vehicles with delivery beginning in 2016.


Saudi Arabia and India signed a landmark Memorandum of Understanding on defense cooperation in New Delhi, which is especially notable given Riyadh's longstanding ties with Pakistan.


The UAE became the third Arab country to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, following the lead of Egypt and Saudi Arabia.


Reuters reported that Iraq has signed nearly $200 million worth of arms contracts with Iran for ammunition and light weapons. If proven true, the deal would violate the UN-directed arms embargo on Iran.


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turkeyTurkey Watch  


Turkey announced that it had signed a $3.5 billion contract with Sikorsky Aircraft for 109 Black Hawk helicopters. Meanwhile, it received its first delivery of a Boeing-made Airborne Early Warning and Control platform aircraft.


Having already announced plans to purchase 100 F-35 fighter jets, Turkey revealed its plans to order an initial two planes next year.


Turkey and Somalia signed a military agreement paving the way for Turkey to train Somali soldiers and build modern military bases.


Turkey successfully tested the MIZRAK-U, an anti-tank missile with an 8km range, which would be outfitted to T-129 attack helicopters. Production will begin in 2015


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techTechnology Watch 


Last month, Elbit introduced SkyVis, which combines Elbit's helmet-mounted display with line-of-sight and daytime head-up display capabilities. It also unveiled Clearvision Heli EVS, a multi-spectral enhanced vision system designed for helicopters that provides improved situational awareness.


Israel announced that SkyShield had successfully concluded operational tests and is now ready for use on commercial airliners. Also known as C-MUSIC, SkyShield employs advanced laser technology and thermal imaging to deflect incoming missiles. 


The IDF Home Front Command will soon release a smartphone application called "iOref" which will use GPS to deliver alerts and warn civilians about incoming rocket attacks.


The Foster-Miller military robot Talon 4, one of the IDF's newest additions, has been frequently deployed into smuggling tunnels. It can defuse explosives underground, carry up to 65lbs., and operate at depths of up to 350 feet.


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levantLevant Watch


Last month, the IDF inaugurated a new division along the Syrian border. The 210th Regional Bashan Division, a former reserve division reconfigured with frontline, active forces, includes a new combat collection battalion supported by the MARS sensor-fused intelligence system and latest versions of the Tzayad digital C4ISR network.


As a result of the rising threat from Hezbollah and Iran, the IDF's submarine flotilla saw a steep increase in at-sea operations in 2013.


Violence from Syria continues to impact the Israeli Golan. Israel suffered several mortar and rocket attacks from Syria, shot several Hezbollah fighters in Syria as they were attempting to plant a bomb near the border fence, and an IDF patrol was attacked by an al-Qaeda linked group.


Israel reportedly conducted two air strikes against a Hezbollah convoy transporting surface-to-surface missiles into Lebanon. The raid marks its seventh known aerial operation to prevent the transfer of advanced weaponry since the start of the Syrian uprising.


Lebanon continues to bear the brunt of the violent spillover from Syria. In the last month, rockets from Syria landed in Lebanon, two powerful explosions rocked Beirut killing at least five people, a suicide bomber killed two Lebanese soldiers near the Syria border in the northeast, and the Syrian air force conducted raids inside Lebanese territory.


Mindful of the fragile nature of Lebanon, outside powers have sought to support the Lebanese Armed Forces. Beirut finalized a $3 billion Saudi-financed arms deal with France, consulted with Italy as to potential help with training programs, and received a $17.8 million pledge from the International Support Group for Lebanon.


U.S. Special Forces have been deployed to Jordan for two months to train Iraqi and Jordanian counterparts.


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egyptEgypt Watch       


Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis claimed responsibility for an attack on a tourist bus at Taba near the Israeli border. The suicide bomber killed four people in a further escalation of the jihadi campaign in the Sinai. The Sinai gas pipeline has been attacked four times in 2014.


are conducting a two-week military exercise, titled Zayed 1, in the UAE. The drill involves air, naval, and Special Forces.


Egypt claimed to have destroyed 1,370 tunnels along the Gazan border, although the claim was impossible to verify.


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oldandnewOld and New Allies 


General Denis Mercier, Chief of Staff of the French Air Force, visited his counterpart in Israel last month, flying an F-15 fighter and touring the Heron TP squadron.


The Finnish Defense Forces have signed a $22 million deal for telecommunications networking products with ECI Telecom, an Israeli IT company. ECI has worked with the Finnish army for over a decade.


Argentina is reportedly interested in purchasing 14 IAI Kfir C.10 fighters as it retires its Dassault Mirage III and Vs next year.


Israel's Aeronautics Defense Systems (ADS) has reportedly signed a contract to supply the Mexican Armed Forces with two air Dominator XP unmanned systems. The Dominator XP has a flight range of 28h and a 300kg payload.


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oddsendsOdds and Ends   

  • Following an impressive intelligence operation, the Israeli Navy seized a large Iranian arms cache headed to Gaza after it boarded a container ship in the Red Sea. The Klos-C was carrying 40 M-302 missiles, 181 122-mm mortars, and 40,000 7.62 caliber bullets. Despite the nuclear negotiations, Iran continues to fund and arm terror groups. 

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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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