Defense Digest - September 2007

1. New Israeli-Manufactured Drone Kills Two Iraqi Insurgents
An Israeli-manufactured unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) completed its first successful attack mission for the U.S. Army in Iraq, the World Tribune reported. The Hunter UAV, manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries, killed two Iraqi insurgents as they attempted to set an improvised explosive device on the side of a road in the Ninevah province. "I think that this success will set the tone for army aviation in years to come," said Capt. Raymond Fields, commander of the Unmanned Aerial Surveillance Company.
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2. Congress Adds Funds for Key Missile Defense Programs
The House of Representatives approved $150 million for Israel's Arrow and short-range missile defense program, The Jerusalem Post reported. The funding includes $25 million for the co-production of the Arrow in the United States, $26 million to explore ways to extend the missile defense shield and $19 million for the short-range "David's Sling" program, which aims to block missiles traveling distances of more than 40 kilometers.
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3. New Export Control Law Approved in Israel
Israel passed a new and more stringent export control law that will allow for greater defense cooperation between the United States and Israel, Defense News reported. The new law allows the Israeli government to mete out heavy fines and other penalties to exporters suspected of violating provisions of the new code. "Our division is now empowered by law to level administrative penalties and to initiate criminal proceedings against suspected violators," said Eli Pinko, director of MoD's Export Control Division.
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4. General Dynamics, RAFAEL Awarded Reactive Armor Contract
General Dynamics and its strategic partner, the Israel-based RAFAEL, announced that they were awarded $108 million for the production of reactive armor for the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. The workload will be split by half between U.S. and Israeli production facilities. The reactive armor package, designed specifically for the U.S. Army Bradley Fighting Vehicle, has saved the lives of hundreds of American soldiers in Iraq.
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5. Israel to Buy Advanced Anti-Aircraft Missiles
The Israeli Air Force has announced its intention to buy advanced U.S.-made Patriot PAC-3 missiles from Lockheed Martin, YNet reported. In the new system, each launcher is equipped with 16 missiles instead of four. Each missile weighs 320 kilograms and is five meters in length. The advanced PAC-3 system is also capable of intercepting aircraft, rockets and cruise missiles. The system is expected to be operational in five years.
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6. Elbit Receives $300 Million for Israeli Digital Army Program
Elbit Systems has received finalization of funding approval of $300 million worth of U.S. Foreign Military Financing (FMF) for the Israeli Digital Army Program (DAP), Defense-Aerospace.com reported. The FMF segment of the DAP will be executed by EFW Inc., an Elbit Systems of America company, as well as other U.S. subcontractors. The DAP is a simulation program aimed at facilitating cooperation and communication among various echelons of the Israeli army.
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AIPAC's Defense Digest is a monthly summary of key articles highlighting the cooperative defense and homeland security 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.