Defense Digest - October 2011

AIPAC's Defense Digest
A Summary of Key Articles Highlighting the U.S.-Israel Strategic Relationship
IN THIS ISSUE OCTOBER 2011
1. Israeli Air Force Establishes Magic Wand Unit
2. Elbit Systems Unveils Advanced Target Acquisition System
3. Defense Secretary Panetta Meets Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu
4. Berman: Aid to Israel Vital for American Interests
5. Israel’s Defense Industry Provides Solutions to Combat Terrorism
FPO photo

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Read more...

 

 

 1. Israeli Air Force Establishes Magic Wand Unit

The Israel Defense Force (IDF) has developed the foundation for a new unit in the Air Force that will protect central Israel against medium- and long-range missiles, YNet News reported. The new unit will deploy the Magic Wand, also known as David’s Sling, which can detect and shoot down rockets and missiles launched from Gaza or Lebanon. Jointly developed with the United States, the Magic Wand missile is able to operate under any weather condition and has the capability to change course mid-flight.

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2. Elbit Systems Unveils Advanced Target Acquisition System 
Elbit Systems, an Israeli defense company with facilities throughout the United States, has developed an unattended target acquisition system that can be utilized for special operation forces and tactical intelligence teams, Defense Update reported. The new design, called the Engager, has all the capabilities of traditional target acquisition systems, but is enclosed in a portable system and can be concealed and unattended for strategic purposes.

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3. Defense Secretary Panetta Meets Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu
A recent meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta focused on the peace process and each country’s commitment to the U.S.-Israel relationship and strategic military cooperation, The Jerusalem Post reported. Netanyahu thanked Panetta for his work to strengthen the cooperation between the United States and Israel. Panetta echoed that sentiment, stating the United States has “always made a commitment to do everything we can to support the security of Israel and as the secretary of defense, I intend to continue that commitment.”

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4. Berman: Aid to Israel Vital for American Interests  
Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA), the ranking minority member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, argued in a Washington Post letter to the editor that foreign aid to Israel serves American interests and helps protect our troops. “Israel’s use of U.S. defense materials on the battlefield helps our military improve its equipment. Our soldiers also benefit from Israeli technological advances, including life-saving armor used extensively in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Rep. Berman stated.
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5. Israel’s Defense Industry Provides Solutions to Combat Terrorism   
A recent report states that Israel’s Defense Industry exports approximately $7 billion worth of products annually, Defense Aerospace reported. The increase in annual defense related exports is attributed to the increased threats of terrorism and to Israeli defense industry’s unique position to provide well established products to combat these threats. “When the world became aware of the matter of fighting terrorism, we already had decades of experience on the matter, with many existing technologies," said Itamar Graff, deputy director of the Defense Ministry's Defense Export and Defense Cooperation Branch. The United States works with Israeli companies to protect American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan from improvised roadside explosive devices and the use of electronic warfare.
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AIPAC's Defense Digest is a monthly summary of key articles highlighting the cooperative defense programs central to the strong and mutually beneficial strategic relationship between the United States and Israel. For more information on these issues, please contact AIPAC's defense team at defenseteam@aipac.org.