Israeli and U.S. defense companies, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Northrop Grumman, are partnering to develop a fifth generation version of the Litening targeting pod, iHLS reported. The two companies are working together to market Litening, offering the system to the U.S. Navy for its F-18 fighter jets. Litening is already in use by the U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps, and the new targeting system will offer significant range and resolution improvements. The contract will include 300 pods with an expected demonstration date of 2017.
to a senior official from Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, the David’s Sling air defense system will be able to intercept missiles over enemy territory, The Jerusalem Post reported. The David’s Sling system, which is designed to intercept medium-range projectiles, is being jointly developed with U.S. defense company Raytheon. According to senior Rafael official Ari Sacher, "David's Sling has an interception range which ensures intercept before a threat enters Israeli territory. David's Sling can intercept any rocket or missiles inside the atmosphere, and over enemy areas,” adding that the system will also be able to intercept unconventional warheads.
Israel will be incorporating a new squadron of 19 Lockheed Martin F-35 jets into the Israeli Air Force (IAF) in 2019, Defense World reported. The F-35 jets will significantly enhance Israel’s air force capabilities, as the fighters are upgraded with new stealth and avionics technology. In 2017, the first group of F-35 aircraft is expected to land in Israel. The jets will be the first low-radar signature aircraft in use by the IAF.
Benny Gantz, the outgoing Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of the General Staff, recently visited the U.S. and participated in several meetings in Washington, D.C., IDF Blog reported. Members of Congress, U.S. defense community representatives and Jewish-American leaders gathered at the Israeli Embassy for Lt. Gen. Gantz’s farewell ceremony. In light of regional developments, Gantz also briefed 300 students on Israel’s security challenges at his alma mater National Defense University (NDU). At the Pentagon, Gantz met with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, where the two discussed a range of regional security issues and reaffirmed the importance of a strong U.S.-Israel relationship.
The USS New York docked in Haifa, Israel and hosted a delegation of U.S. and Israeli leaders, the U.S. Navy reported. U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro and U.S. Sixth Fleet commander Vice Adm. James Foggo were joined by a group of IDF officials for a tour of the amphibious transport ship. Capt. Christopher Brunnett, commanding officer of the ship, praised the U.S.-Israel relationship, stating "It was an honor to have Ambassador Shapiro, Adm. Foggo and the Israel Defense Force delegation on board. It was a great opportunity to build trust, strengthen ties with our allies and demonstrate the outstanding capabilities of our blue/green team." Foggo added, “This is my first stop at sea as the new Sixth Fleet commander and I can't think of a better platform to bring to Israel than USS New York.”