Defense Digest - June 2017

Defense Digest
Defense Digest
June 2017

Vice Adm. James Syring, then-director of the Missile Defense Agency, lauded the success of U.S.-Israel missile defense cooperation at a June 7 House subcommittee hearing. (AP/Vadim Ghirda)

Top Pentagon Officials Praise U.S.-Israel Defense Cooperation at Key House Subcommittee Hearing

On June 7, top U.S. defense officials praised U.S.-Israel missile defense collaboration at a House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces hearing on Fiscal Year 2018 priorities. Vice Adm. James Syring, then-director of the Missile Defense Agency, stated that the United States is “close partners with Israel on development of their systems, system engineering in particular and testing.” Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Capabilities Thomas Harvey hailed U.S. missile defense collaboration with Israel as “a bilateral success story.” “The jointly developed Arrow and David's Sling weapon system programs provide Israel with the capability to defend itself against imminent and emerging ballistic missile threats while benefiting the United States through technology sharing,” said Harvey.

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Israel Air Force Dedicates Air Base to F-35 Maintenance

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) has made significant alterations to the Nevatim Air Base in order to accommodate maintenance work for the F-35 fifth-generation fighter jet. The introduction of the advanced plane into the Israeli fleet has also a necessitated a change in the training of IAF technicians. According to an IAF senior officer, the credentials required to work as a technician on the aircraft are exceptionally high, including top grades in electronics and native proficiency in English. “The technical aspect of the air force is extremely important,” the officer said, adding that the technicians operating on the F-35 are “the best in the air force.”

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Former Top Military Officials Visit Israel

This month, a delegation of former high-ranking U.S. military officials visited Israel. The 10-day trip featured meetings with the heads of the Israeli Air Force, Navy, Intelligence, and Northern and Southern Commands. Marking his fourth trip to Israel, Vice Adm. Peter Neffenger, the former vice commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, said: “Each time I come here, I get a greater depth of understanding. You can’t understand the challenges faced here in Israel unless you repeatedly come back and hear what they have to say.”

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U.S. Aircraft Carrier to Dock in Haifa for First Time in 17 Years

For the first time in 17 years, the USS George H.W. Bush will soon dock in Haifa Bay for four days. It will then travel to the Syrian coast to participate in air operations against the Islamic State (ISIS). According to the Pentagon, the approximately 1000-foot-long Nimitz-class aircraft carrier was moved from the Arabian Gulf to the Eastern Mediterranean last month. Once the sailors arrive in Haifa, dozens of buses will transport them into the city or to other cities of their choice.

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Elbit Supplying Cockpit Display Replacement for F-35 Aircraft

Israel’s Elbit Systems is developing a cockpit display replacement unit for Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightening II jet aircraft. “Elbit Systems of America continues to demonstrate that we are a trusted and highly-capable partner for the F-35 program,” said Raanan Horowitz, president and chief executive officer of Elbit Systems of America. “We are committed to ensuring the success of our customer and the pilots who depend on our equipment to accomplish their mission.” Elbit has already provided power amplifiers, structures and sustainment work for the F-35 aircraft. The Israeli company also jointly developed the F-35 Helmet Mounted Display System with Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Fort Worth, Texas.

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