Defense Digest - May 2012

AIPAC's Defense Digest
A Summary of Key Articles Highlighting the U.S.-Israel Strategic Relationship
IN THIS ISSUE MAY 2012
1. House Passes U.S.-Israel Security Bill 
2. U.S.-Israeli Joint Venture Defense Company Wins Defense Contract
3. Iron Dome Upgrade Planned
4. Pentagon Requests Funding for Iron Dome 
5. Strategic Relationship Strong with New Israeli Coalition
FPO photo

America plans to provide additional funding to help Israel combat a growing missile threat. Read more...

 

 

1. House Passes U.S.-Israel Security Bill

The House passed the United States Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012 by a resounding vote of 411-2, JTA reported. The legislation expands military cooperation between the United States and Israel and provides Israel with needed military capabilities in order to preserve its qualitative military edge in the region. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), who sponsored the bill with House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), said, “This bill reaffirms Israel’s right to defend itself against threats and puts Congress on the record about America's longstanding commitment to the U.S.-Israel strategic relationship, a unique and special relationship founded on shared interests and shared democratic values.”

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2. U.S.-Israeli Joint Venture Defense Company Wins Defense Contract 
Vision Systems International, the joint venture between Israeli defense company Elbit Systems and American defense company Rockwell Collins, has been awarded a $32 million contract to Boeing for the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS), the company announced. The technology of the JHMCS, which is used by the U.S. Air Force and the Navy, is “known and respected by fighter-attack pilots around the world because it enables them to maintain 'eyes out' while viewing critical information on the helmet visor,” said Phil King, president of Vision Systems International. Deliveries of the helmet are scheduled to begin this year and continue through 2013.

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3. Iron Dome Upgrade Planned
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is working to increase the range of the Iron Dome anti-missile system, with the goal of enabling the system to intercept longer-range rockets, The Jerusalem Post reported. The Iron Dome, which is produced in Israel and has received procurement funding from the United States, can currently intercept rockets at a range of some 2-40 miles. The IDF is working on technological upgrades and is modifying the Israeli Air Force’s operational doctrine to increase the range of the system.

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4. Pentagon Requests Funding for Iron Dome  
Pentagon officials announced this month that it has asked Congress for $70 million in additional fiscal year 2012 assistance for the Iron Dome missile defense system, Bloomberg reported. These funds are in addition to the funds that House committees have already approved for fiscal year 2013, which begins on October 1, 2012. The additional funding, requested in a formal reprogramming request to Congress, would enable Israel to better address its current increased security needs. “My goal is to ensure Israel has the funding it needs each year to produce these batteries that can protect its citizens,” Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said.
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5. Strategic Relationship Strong with New Israeli Coalition    
U.S. officials stated that the new broad-based Israeli government will not affect America’s close relationship with Israel, especially on military and intelligence issues, Agence France Press reported. The new government is the largest in recent decades, with the coalition holding 94 out of 120 parliamentary seats. “We provide significant support for and coordination with Israel's military on security interests,” and this will not be affected by a new Israeli coalition, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.
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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.