The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted 80 to 90 percent of intended targets in the recent conflict with Gaza, The New York Times reported. The Iron Dome, which protects against short- and mid-range rocket threats, was developed by Israel and has received procurement funding from the United States. Rocket hits on civilian populations and infrastructure have significantly decreased as a result of the Iron Dome, a fifth battery of which was deployed shortly after the conflict began.
David’s Sling, the joint U.S.-Israeli cooperative missile defense program designed to protect against mid-range missile threats, successfully completed its first test interception this month, Agence France Presse reported. The successful interception completes the first phase of its development. Developed by Raytheon and Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, it is expected to be deployed in 2014. The test was conducted in southern Israel and represents a significant milestone in the development of the missile defense program.
Northrup Grumman has been awarded a $71.5 million contract by the U.S. Air Force for the full rate production of the upgraded version of the Litening under the Advanced Targeting Pod-Sensor Enhancing program, Defense Procurement News reported. The Litening targeting pods, which were developed in Israel, contain sensors to detect targets and guide weapons to intercept them. The Litening has been used by the U.S. Air Force Guard, Marine Corps and Reserve units.
Researchers from Ben Gurion University in Israel have been invited to participate in a U.S.-sponsored project to develop the next generation of robotics specifically designed to deal with disaster scenarios, The Times of Israel reported. The project is sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which is the agency of the Department of Defense that is responsible for developing new technologies for the U.S. military. There are 11 teams participating in total, and the Israel team, the only non-American group invited to participate, was awarded $375,000 for software development for their project.
The United States and Israel concluded Austere Challenge 12 this month, the largest military exercise of its kind between the two allies, Algemeiner reported. The U.S. Patriot missile and other U.S. and Israeli defense systems were used in the drill that was held to prepare forces for various threats on multiple fronts. “We reinforced our already strong U.S.-IDF relationships,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin. “From our most senior commanders to most junior enlisted troops, we proved once again that there is clearly no substitute for training side by side with our Israeli partners.”