Defense Digest- October 2016

Defense Digest
October 2016

Israel's fourth Lockheed Martin C-130J aircraft arrived at an Israeli air base in mid-October. (Tsafrir Abayov/AP).

Israel Takes Delivery of Fourth C-130J Transport Aircraft

In mid-October, the Israeli Air Force took delivery of a fourth Lockheed Martin C-130J (“Samson”) tactical transport aircraft. Designed to perform long-range missions, Israel’s C-130Js employ unique Israeli technologies to bolster the aircraft’s capabilities and integrate it into the Jewish state’s depth command. The arrival of the fourth plane—purchased through U.S. Foreign Military Financing funds—makes Israel’s C-130J squadron fully operational. The aircraft is the most modern cargo transport in the Israeli Air Force fleet, which had used the older Hercules C-130s since 1971.

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Israel’s Military Field Hospital May Be Recognized as “World’s Best”

The World Health Organization (WHO) may award the Israel Defense Forces’ field hospital with a Type 3 classification, the highest ranking possible that currently no other country has received. Last month, a WHO delegation visited the field hospital in Israel to assess the eligibility of its emergency response teams. A Type 3 classification would enshrine Israel’s position as a global leader in emergency medicine and would allow Israel to get preferential access to respond to disasters in the future. According to Lt. Col (res.) Dr. Ofer Merin, commander of the field hospital, the disaster relief structure is “not just some medics and doctors spread out in the field,” but is a “national treasure that has the capabilities of an advanced, permanent hospital, but can be set up almost anywhere in under 12 hours.” Israel has provided rescue and medical services after numerous natural disasters, including after earthquakes in Turkey in 1999, Haiti in 2010, and Nepal in 2015.

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Israeli Company Competes for U.S. Army Robot Contract

DRS Technologies and Israel’s Roboteam are partnering to compete for a Pentagon program to provide 4,000 soldier-carried robot systems to the U.S. Army. Missions for the system would include chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear detection; reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition; and explosive ordinance disposal operations. According to Roboteam, their operationally proven Micro Tactical Ground Robot (MTGR) meets all of the U.S. Army’s requirements for a tactical robot. Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology and current Roboteam advisory board member Heidi Shyu praised the program. “They [Roboteam] are a very innovative team, and that’s what impressed me,” she said, “…it is important to leverage this innovative life-saving technology that originated outside of U.S. borders for the benefit of U.S. users.” Roboteam already has existing contracts with the U.S. Air Force and the Pentagon’s Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO).

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U.S. Marine Corps Set to Acquire Joint U.S.-Israel Precise Munition

The U.S. Marine Corps is set to acquire the Precision Extended Range Munition (PERM), a 120 mm mortar jointly developed by U.S. defense contractor Raytheon and Israel Military Industries (IMI). The guided mortar is being developed for the Marine Corps’ Expeditionary Fire Support System (EFSS), an indirect fire-system that provides support for the Marine Air-Ground Task Force. The munition will significantly improve the EFSS’ precision and range. Over one-third of the production of PERM will be performed in Ramat Hasharon, Israel.

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U.S. Army Acquires Israeli-Developed Hand Stations for Bradley Fighting Vehicles

On Oct. 5, Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems announced that its U.S.-based subsidiary received a $7.3 million contract to provide the U.S. Army’s Bradley Fighting Vehicles with the Gunner’s Hand Station system. The system will improve vehicle gunners’ ability to acquire targets and fire accurately. Elbit Systems currently supplies the Commander’s Hand Station and the Turret Processing Unit for the Bradley vehicles.

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