Defense Digest - November 2011

AIPAC's Defense Digest
A Summary of Key Articles Highlighting the U.S.-Israel Strategic Relationship
IN THIS ISSUE NOVEMBER 2011
1. U.S. Official Highlights Benefits of U.S.-Israel Cooperation
2. Lockheed Martin Awards Israeli Company Contract on Jet Helmet
3. U.S. Requests Iron Dome Information
4. Israeli Air Force Designates Location for F-35 Fleet
5. White House Defends Foreign Aid
FPO photo

The U.S. has asked Israel for information about the Iron Dome missile defense system. Read more...

 

 

 1. U.S. Official Highlights Benefits of U.S.-Israel Cooperation

Andrew Shapiro, assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs, stated that 5,000 U.S. and Israeli forces will participate in an upcoming joint military drill, Defense News reported. In a speech to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Shapiro spoke about the joint exercise, Austere Challenge, in the context of highlighting how the United States benefits from joint ventures with Israel. Aside from Austere Challenge, Shapiro discussed specific examples of how the United States and Israel are working together to utilize innovations in various fields to protect U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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2. Lockheed Martin Awards Israeli Company Contract on Jet Helmet 
Vision Systems International, a joint venture between Elbit, an Israeli-based defense electronics company, and Rockwell Collins, a U.S.-based company that focuses on aviation and information technology, have been awarded a contract for development of the helmet mounted display system on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, Yahoo Finance reported. This contract includes two additional phases in the development of the helmet, which will enhance the night vision performance capabilities and improve the display so that images will be sharper and viewable even in low light.

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3. U.S. Requests Iron Dome Information
The United States is considering sending an official request for information from the Israeli Defense Ministry for technical specifications about the Iron Dome Weapon System, The Jerusalem Post reported. The United States has expressed interest in purchasing the system for deployment near American bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, where the system can protect against the threat of Katyusha rockets. In August, Israeli defense company Rafael announced its partnership with Raytheon to market the Iron Dome Weapon System in the United States.

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4. Israeli Air Force Designates Location for F-35 Fleet  
Israeli security officials have announced they will house its future fleet of U.S.-manufactured F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets at the Nevatim airbase, The Jerusalem Post reported. Located in the Negev desert, this location was chosen for its superior infrastructure, training space and proximity to strategically significant areas in southern Israel. Israeli defense chiefs have cited the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet, which the United States is expected to deliver by 2015, as a critical component to ensure Israel’s regional qualitative military edge.
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5. White House Defends Foreign Aid    
A White House official explained at a press briefing how foreign aid to Israel helps U.S. national security interests, The Jerusalem Post reported. Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the Obama administration had “strengthened our ties with [Israel], and provided significant assistance in the form of the Iron Dome project and others that are critical to Israel’s security.” In a separate statement, Vice President Joe Biden echoed his remarks. “America’s support for Israel is not just an act of friendship. It’s an act of fundamental national self-interest on the part of the United States – a key component of our broader effort to secure the region and the wider world,” he said.
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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.