Defense Digest- February 2017

Defense Digest
February 2017

On Feb. 22, Israel successfully tested an enhanced version of the Iron Dome rocket defense system (AP/Dan Balilty).

Israel Successfully Tests Improved Version of Iron Dome

The Israeli Ministry of Defense announced on Feb. 22 that it had successfully tested an enhanced version of the Israeli-developed short-range Iron Dome rocket defense system in southern Israel. For the first time, the tests involved Tamir interceptor missiles that include components manufactured in the United States. “We’ve successfully completed a series of complex tests....Together with [the mid-range] David’s Sling, this significantly enhances Israel's air defenses against short-and mid-range missiles,” said Israel Missile Defense Organization Director Moshe Patel. U.S.-based Raytheon and Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems are currently co-producing Iron Dome. The two companies are also working together to produce Iron Dome interceptors compatible with U.S. systems. The United States provided $55 million for the life-saving Iron Dome system in 2016, out of a total of $1.3 billion since 2011.

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U.S. Missile Defense Agency Seeking to Boost Israeli Missile Defense Integration

On Jan. 31, the Missile Defense Agency's U.S.-Israeli Cooperative Program Office published a request for information seeking "potential sources" to perform near- and long-term missile architecture studies and integration for Israel. The agency seeks information from potential suppliers that could provide "test solutions" in a "full-blown architecture" that would defend Israel against threats from many directions, in order to prioritize which system to use. The evaluation is also meant to improve the interoperability of U.S. and Israeli missile defense systems.

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U.S. Air Force Evaluating Israeli Runway Monitoring System

The U.S. Air Force (USAF) is evaluating technology developed by Israeli company Xsight Systems to rapidly detect damage to runways on forward-deployed air bases. The USAF is exploring technologies that provide personnel on bases swift information about the nature and extent of damage caused to runways during armed conflict. The assessment involves a version of Xsight System’s RunWize system, which uses unique hybrid optical-radar remote-sensing technology and sensors positioned alongside the runway to detect potential hazards. Xsight Systems is partnering with U.S. defense company Leidos on the system, which will improve its ability to rapidly repair runways.

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U.S. Navy Testing Improved Joint U.S.-Israel F-35 Helmet-Mounted Display

The U.S. Navy has been testing and training with an improved Helmet Mounted Display System (HMDS) for the F-35C, the service’s carrier variant of the fifth-generation fighter jet. HMDS displays flight and weapons data for pilots, allowing them to have full situational awareness and rotate missiles by turning their heads. The enhanced HMDS features new sensors that enable better targeting, sensor data viewing and pilot awareness of flight information such as airspeed, heading and altitude. The new display also allows for easier carrier landings in dark conditions. U.S. defense company Rockwell Collins is partnering with Israel’s Elbit Systems to produce the HMDS in the United States.

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Israeli Defense Company Elbit Receives $102 Million U.S. Mortar Systems Deal

Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems’ U.S. subsidiary has been awarded a $102 million contract to provide mortar fire control systems for the U.S. Army. The systems improve mission success with greater accuracy, while reducing potential exposure to adversaries. Elbit Systems of America President and CEO Raanan Horowitz said: "Elbit Systems of America provides soldiers enhanced capabilities and fire power to perform combat missions. Our company is focused on providing advanced and proven capabilities that our nation's warfighters can trust to accomplish their mission and return home." Elbit Systems of America's mortar fire control systems for the U.S. Army include the Mortar Fire Control Systems Mounted (MFCS-M), Mortar Fire Control Systems Dismounted (MFCS-D) and a lightweight handheld mortar ballistic computer.

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