Defense Digest - December 2008-January 2009

AIPAC Homeland Security Monitor
A Summary of Key Articles Highlighting the U.S.-Israel Strategic Relationship
1. U.S. Army Orders 12 Israeli-Developed Vehicles 2. Israel Developing Advanced UAV3. Top U.S. European Command Official Visits Israel4. Israel Develops New Radar to Pinpoint Rocket Launchers 5. Czechs Train for Afghan War in Israel 6. Israeli UAVs to Fly in Afghanistan

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FPO photo

Western forces in Afghanistan will begin using the Israel-developed Heron UAV. Read more...



1. U.S. Army Orders 12 Israeli-Developed Vehicles
The U.S. Army has ordered 12 more Israeli-developed Hunter Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), GlobeNewswire reported. "This contract win is a clear indicator that the Army values the Hunter as a ‘combat multiplier’ throughout its battlespace in providing real-time intelligence to the soldier on the front lines," said Karl Purdy, Northrop Grumman Technical Services program manager for the contract. Hunter has now flown approximately 60,000 flight hours and nearly 30,000 hours in Iraq.

2. Israel Developing Advanced UAV
Israel plans to develop a new type of missile-sensing unmanned aerial vehicle better suited to spotting incoming nuclear warheads, Defense News reported. A prototype of such a sensor has already reportedly been tested. The new type of sensors would be helpful in spotting incoming warheads amid a large amount of decoys. If implemented, the program will mark the first use of an unmanned platform for the nuclear warhead hunting/decoy discrimination mission, U.S. and international experts said.

3. Top U.S. European Command Official Visits Israel
Navy Captain Ed Buclatin, the director of public affairs for the United States European Command (EUCOM), visited Israel in December for a series of meetings on a variety of strategic issues, reported. Aside from holding high level meetings with senior Israeli and IDF officers, the delegation also visited Sderot. "This is an amazing opportunity to visit Israel, meet my counterparts, and get a first-hand understanding of the issues and challenges the IDF Spokesperson's Unit is faced with every day," Capt. Buclatin said.

4. Israel Develops New Radar to Pinpoint Rocket Launchers
Just a few weeks before the current conflict between Israel and Hamas began, the Israeli Defense Forces was preparing to deploy a new radar system that “will help locate and destroy rocket launchers more quickly then ever before,” Chief Artillery Officer Brig.-Gen. Michel Ben-Baruch told The Jerusalem Post. The new radar will provide artillery cannons with a 360-degree view of a battlefield and detect the location of rocket launchers. "There is no radar like this in the world," Ben-Baruch said.

5. Czechs Train for Afghan War in Israel
Soldiers from the Czech Republic participated in training in Israel to prepare them for the war in Afghanistan, the BBC reported.  The soldiers, helicopter pilots, learned to fly in difficult desert conditions.  The commander of the unit, Petr Schvarz, said he considers the exercise in Israel a great opportunity to prepare his troops for the conditions in Afghanistan.

6. Israeli UAVs to Fly in Afghanistan
Canadian forces in Afghanistan will begin using Israel's Heron Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) as the main surveillance drone in the U.S.-led campaign, The Jerusalem Post reported.  Based on the agreement, Israel will supply an upgraded version of the UAV to Canada—the Heron TP.  The Heron TP is the largest Israeli UAV, with a 26-meter long wingspan.  It weighs 4,650 kilograms, can fly at an altitude of up to 45,000 feet and according to reports in the Canadian press, the Heron TP possesses a lethal-strike capability.


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