1. Israel’s Iron Dome Missile Defense System Makes History
In a landmark development in military history, Iron Dome, Israel’s newest missile defense system, has so far intercepted at least 10 rockets fired into Israel from Gaza, The Jerusalem Post reported. Iron Dome is expected to drastically reduce the damage and casualties resulting from rocket fire. Rather than intercepting every rocket fired into Israel, Iron Dome will not fire an interceptor if the rocket is expected to fall in an open area.
2. U.S. Approves Funding for Israel’s Iron Dome
Congress has approved a $205 million grant to Israel, as part of the fiscal year 2011 budget, to continue developing the Iron Dome missile defense system, The Jerusalem Post reported. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his “deep appreciation to President Barack Obama and the United States Congress for their steadfast support of Israel’s security.” Defense Minister Ehud Barak also thanked the United States for its support and said that the increased funds would significantly help Israel defend itself against missiles.
3. Pentagon Awards Lockheed Martin New Aircraft Contract for Israel
The Pentagon announced that it has awarded Lockheed Martin a $76 million contract for the acquisition of a second C-130J-30 aircraft for Israel. This aircraft will include a Block 6X Operational Flight Program, enhanced service life wing, and universal aerial refueling receptacle slipway installation, among other advanced features. The contract also includes the option for a possible third C-130J aircraft for Israel.
4. U.S. Navy Awards Elbit Systems with $15.6 Million Contract
M7 Aerospace LP, a subsidiary of the Israeli company Elbit Systems, has won a $15.6 million contract from the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command to provide logistical support and maintenance for U.S. Navy planes, Globes reported. The five-year contract also has four one-year options to renew. “M7 has an extensive legacy in providing outstanding logistics support to the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force, and we look forward to demonstrating our expertise and professionalism to our U.S. Navy customer,” said Elbit Systems of American President and CEO Raanan Horowitz.
5. Key U.S. Appropriator Meets with Israeli Missile Defense Chief
Rep. Steve Rothman (D-NJ) on March 30 met with Arieh Herzog, director of the Israel Missile Defense Organization, to discuss joint U.S.-Israel defense projects, The Jewish Standard reported. Rothman said that the two discussed “the status of various missile defense projects of each country.” Rothman added that he has been working with Herzog for several years “in order to increase levels of funding for Israel-U.S. missile defense projects which should greatly benefit the national security of both the U.S. and the State of Israel.”