Defense Digest - December 2014

Defense Digest
Defense Digest
December, 2014

Israel purchased two additional Super Hercules transport aircraft from Lockheed Martin. (Photo Credit: U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv)

David's Sling to be Deployed in Israel for Trial Period

The David’s Sling missile defense system will soon be deployed in various areas across Israel for a trial period, IHS Jane's Defence Weekly reported. According to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), the trial period will allow the system to be examined and tested before it becomes fully operational. David’s Sling, jointly developed by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and the American Raytheon Company, is designed to intercept short-range to medium-range rockets and missiles and will be integrated into Israel’s multi-tier missile shield. In Nov. 2013, the Israeli Defense Ministry and U.S. Missile Defense Agency held a successful test of David’s Sling and shot down a ballistic missile.

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Israel Fortifies Iron Dome to Prepare for Future Threats

Israel is bolstering Iron Dome to prepare for looming threats on its northern borders, Defense News reported. With Hezbollah in possession of an estimated 100,000 rockets and continued instability in Syria, officials are preparing for a conflict where thousands of rockets could simultaneously be fired at Israeli population centers. Director of the Israel Missile Defense Organization Yair Ramati credited “more than 25 years of continuously generous bipartisan support” from the U.S. for Iron Dome’s success. He noted that “life-saving” U.S. funding support allowed Israel to rapidly deploy three additional Iron Dome batteries during last summer’s war in Gaza.

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Israeli Defense Company Wins Contract to Provide Logistics Support for U.S. Air Force F-16s

Israeli defense company Elbit Systems announced that it won a five-year $29 million contract to provide logistics support of F-16 head-up display (HUD) electric module assemblies to the U.S. Air Force, Defense World reported. According to Raanan Horowitz, President and CEO of Elbit Systems, “F-16 pilots rely on their HUD for situational awareness and targeting during critical missions. Our advanced technology provides a crisper, sharper image for the pilot and increases the overall operational performance of the HUD” and “reduces power consumption by approximately 50 percent.”

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Israel Air Force Upgrades Patriot Batteries for UAV Defense

Israel is increasingly using U.S.-built Patriot batteries to intercept unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) attempting to infiltrate Israeli airspace, reported Defense News. The Air Force’s Wing 168 unit constitutes the ground-based layer of Israel’s air-defense network and has successfully intercepted three UAVs in the last four months. According to Defense News, Israel-operated Patriot batteries are the first in the world to intercept enemy aircraft. Retired major general and former IAF commander Herzl Bodinger said that since enemy states and organizations are expanding their use of UAVs, “For our purposes, the Patriot is excellent against aircraft; a critical part of our continuously upgraded system of integrated air defenses.”

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Israel to Receive Additional Super Hercules Airplanes

Following an agreement with Lockheed Martin, Israel will receive two additional Super Hercules transport aircraft at an estimated cost of $75 million each, Ha’aretz reported. According to a senior Israeli Air Force officer, negotiations regarding the purchase of additional Super Hercules aircraft are currently underway, and Israel is expressing interest in buying nine airplanes. Dubbed “Shimshon” in Hebrew, two Super Hercules aircraft already operate in Israel, with two others in production.

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