U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta met with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak this month to discuss a range of issues concerning the Middle East, Agence Free Presse reported. This was the eleventh time the leaders have met, and they expressed support for cooperation on issues regarding Iran, Syria, and Gaza. U.S. Defense Department spokesman George Little said the meetings were successful and both leaders “reiterated the strong U.S. commitment to Israel's security and the strong US-Israel defense relationship."
The Combined Arms Support Command hosted the Israeli Defense Force Technology and Logistics Branch head and members of the Israeli Defense Force to tour its school earlier this month, the Army stated. The goal of the visit was to provide insight into the unique curriculum and techniques used to train the logistics soldiers. The tour included a visit to the U.S. Army Ordnance School and the Allied Trades Course, both of which illustrated the interactive classroom training used to learn skills for the field. The Israeli guests hope to use the information they learned to help create a logistics school in Israel.
The Israeli Ministry of Defense and Israel Defense company Rafael tested an upgraded version of the Iron Dome anti-missile system this month that has enhanced interception range, the Jerusalem Post reported. One upgraded Iron Dome battery was deployed during the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas and successfully intercepted a medium range Iranian-made Fajr 5 rocket that was launched into Israel from Gaza. Israel currently has five Iron Dome batteries, which received procurement funding from the U.S., and have a success rate of up to 90 percent.
The Israeli Air Force (IAF) concluded a drill this month to prepare for a larger international drill, the Israeli Defense Forces reported. The drill, called Red Flag, is based off of a U.S. model in which dozens of aircrafts simulate air battles. Red Flag is designed to prepare the Israeli Air Force for the Blue Flag drill, which will take place later this year and involve the cooperation of several foreign air forces. The Commander of the IAF Headquarters explained, "Our goal is to improve the operational relationship, so that in real incidents we will be able to rely on our combat doctrine."”
Virginia Based Defense Company Received Israeli Contract Arlington Virginia based Alliant Techsystems Inc. will supply solar array to power Israel Aerospace Industries’ Affordable Modular Optimized Satellite (AMOS-6), Yahoo Finance reported. The contract allows the option for Alliant to supply the solar arrays for the AMOS-7 system, which is a component of the AMOS fleet that delivers communications and broadcasting services to countries around the world. There is high demand for the solar array due to strong success rates, and this contract continues the relationship that Alliant has built with Israeli companies for more than a decade. ”