Defense Digest- September 2015

Defense Digest
Defense Digest
September 2015

Israel is updating its F-16 fighter aircraft to counter regional threats.

Israel Upgrades F-16s to Address Increased Missile Threats

Israel is in the process of installing new systems on its Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter aircraft to address increased regional threats from anti-aircraft missiles, Flight Global reported. As more sophisticated technologies enter the region, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) is increasingly focused on combatting the threat of surface-to-air missiles and the need to target surface-to-surface missiles sites. According to a senior IAF officer, “The threats we are facing and will face, according to intelligence assessments, require the installation of new systems.” Israel is also equipping one squadron of F-16s with Boeing’s GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb, a GPS-guided munition.

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United States, Israel Cooperate on Wheelchairs for Veterans

Wheelchair-bound U.S. Army veterans will be among the first to receive new Israeli-developed wheelchairs that will significantly increase their mobility, according to Israel21c. Israeli company SoftWheel has designed the Acrobat Wheel, a wheelchair that enables riders to traverse rocky terrain and stairs with relative ease. According to chief executive Daniel Barel, SoftWheel is “very veteran-oriented in Israel and abroad” and is looking to form a working relationship with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.

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Israeli Start-Up Wins U.S. Air Force Contract

Israeli start-up Roboteam recently won a Pentagon contract to provide the U.S. Air Force with a robot system for Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) missions, Defense News reported. Under the $25 million contract, the Israeli company will provide up to 250 of its Micro Tactical Ground Robots (MTGR) through 2022. Weighing fewer than 20 pounds, Roboteam’s MTGR is designed to clear obstacles and conduct sophisticated maneuvers in extreme terrain. According to Shahar Abuhazira, chief executive of Roboteam’s North American subsidiary, “Roboteam North America is pleased and extremely honored to receive this award from the U.S. Air Force and the credit goes to our amazing engineers and the support team.” The system will be produced in the United States.

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United States, Israel Conduct Naval Exercise

The United States and Israel recently concluded the annual bilateral naval exercise Reliant Mermaid in the Mediterranean Sea, the U.S. Navy reported. Maritime forces from both countries conducted a mass casualty drill and a search and seizure operation, among other exercises. According to the report, “Reliant Mermaid is an annual maritime search and rescue exercise designed to increase interoperability by developing individual and collective maritime proficiencies of participating nations, as well as promoting friendship, mutual understanding and cooperation. Reliant Mermaid also helps promote maritime safety and security in the region.”

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U.S. Navy Purchases Israeli-Developed Therapy System

The U.S. Navy has ordered multiple Israeli-developed transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) systems to treat patients with a range of psychological conditions, the Times of Israel reported. Developed by the Israeli-based company Brainsway, the helmet device will be used to provide health services to American sailors and their families at numerous U.S. treatment centers. TMS is a noninvasive technique used to apply brief magnetic pulses to the brain, and can be used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and other psychological conditions. “Our validation as a supplier to the U.S. Navy is an important stepping stone for our company into the U.S. market,” said Brainsway’s chief executive and president, Guy Ezekiel.

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