week of Feb. 5-9, U.S. and Israeli troops trained in Israel during the biennial Juniper Cobra military exercise. The large-scale exercise, which has been held every two years since 2001, is aimed at strengthening military cooperation against regional threats and involves thousands of soldiers from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the U.S. Army European Command (EUCOM).
Feb. 19, Israel carried out a successful test of its long-range Arrow 3 missile defense system in collaboration with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency. The Arrow 3 system—which was jointly developed by the United States and Israel—was declared operational in January 2017. It is designed to intercept intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) outside the earth’s atmosphere, including ICBMs with nuclear, biological or chemical warheads. Arrow 3 is the most advanced component of Israel’s multi-layered air defense system, which also includes the Iron Dome rocket-defense system and the David’s Sling medium-range system.
U.S. Army plans to equip 261 of its M1 Abrams tanks with the Israeli-made Trophy active-protection system (APS), according to the Army’s 2019 budget request released on Feb. 12. Trophy—which has been installed on Israel’s Merkava main battle tanks since 2009—is designed to thwart incoming antitank missiles and other projectiles. The Army is also in the initial stages of acquiring the Israeli-made Iron Fist APS for its Bradley fighting vehicles.
May, Israeli pilots are set to train on a simulator of a helicopter being called the “aircraft of the 21st century.” Lockheed Martin Corp.’s new CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter will arrive in Israel following its international debut at the Berlin Air Show. Israel is planning to modernize its heavy-lift helicopter fleet by 2025, and is expected to choose between Boeing’s veteran CH-47 Chinook and Lockheed’s CH-53K.
defense company Lockheed Martin was awarded a $147.96 million to modify a previously awarded contract involving Israel’s F-35 program, according to a U.S. Department of Defense contract listed on Feb. 2. The award will support jobs in Florida, California, Texas, New Hampshire and Indiana, among other places. The project is scheduled to be completed in December 2021.