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February 10, 2016 / 1 Adar I, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘defense’

Elbit Systems: $70M Deal in Israel, $50M Sale in Asia

Monday, December 28th, 2015

Israel’s Elbit Systems Ltd. defense electronics firm announced Monday that it has been awarded a contract by the Directorate of Production and Procurement of the Israeli Ministry of Defense (“IMOD”), valued at approximately $70 million, for the supply of Electronic Warfare (EW) systems.

The systems, developed and manufactured by Elbit Systems EW and SIGINT – Elisra Ltd., is to be delivered over a five-year period, and will be installed on board all types of Israeli Air Force fighter jets.

Bezhalel (Butzi) Machlis, President and CEO of Elbit Systems, said: “We are proud to provide the Israeli Air Force, recognized as one of the world’s most advanced air forces, advanced EW systems, covering the full range of fighter jets, and we trust that this win will further enhance our position as one of the world’s leading EW manufacturers.

“The modern global air combat arena is extremely challenging, and pilots are facing many new threats. Our systems provide a solution to a wide variety of current and future threats, and we hope that other customers will follow the IMOD and the Israeli Air Force and select our EW systems.”

The company also announced that it has won a new three-year $50 million contract with an Asia-Pacific nation. The firm will supply a “comprehensive airborne solution for use in intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions.”

Through its ISTAR division, Elbit said it will upgrade equipment already deployed in the field, including long-range electro-optical (EO) cameras and sensors. These are to be supplemented with Israel Aerospace Industries unit Elta Systems’ advanced SAR/GMTI Reconnaissance systems, the company said.

The upgraded system will be able to perform advanced functions such as mission planning, battlefield management, terrain analysis and simulation modeling both before and during intelligence-gathering operations.

“By combining multiple sensors, advanced C4I and intelligence analysis systems, all into one integrated solution, we enable customers to carry out more effective and flexible ISTAR operations,” said Machlis.

“There is a growing demand for this sort of solution, and we hope that this project, which marks a significant milestone for us, will lead to more orders from new and existing customers in the near future.”

David’s Sling Air Defense System Passes Final Test

Monday, December 21st, 2015

Israel’s ‘David’s Sling’ air defense system passed its final round of testing Monday and is on course for deployment in 2016, the Defense Ministry announced.

The system is being jointly developed and produced by Israeli state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd and top U.S. weapons manufacturer Raytheon Co.

David’s Sling was put through its paces in a test field in southern Israel in advance of delivery to the Air Force by April 2016. The IAF is to receive two batteries in the first stage of deployment, although a total of four are to be delivered to the military. The system can be deployed in both mobile and permanent environments, which allows for flexible maneuvers in accordance with military requirements, similar to that of the Iron Dome.

Likewise, David’s Sling can operate independently or integrated with the Iron Dome and Arrow air defense systems, based on Israel’s security needs at time of deployment.

The system, also known as the “Magic Wand,” is designed to shoot down medium-range rockets fired at Israel, with ranges of 100 km to 200 km (63 to 125 miles). The anti-missile system can also shoot down hostile aircraft and low-flying cruise missiles when necessary.

Although the Defense Ministry gave no specific details about the targets that were identified and shot down on Monday, officials said that in general, the system can identify and intercept missiles capable of bearing a warhead carrying hundreds of kilograms of explosives.

David’s Sling is intended to fill the operational gap between the currently operating Iron Dome short-range rocket interceptor and the longest-range Arrow ballistic missile interceptor. Both are already deployed.

“This series of tests completes the first chapter in development and will allow us to bring the system to the Air Force soon,” a senior Defense Ministry weapons development specialist said.

The head of the project from Israeli defense firm Rafael, Shlomo S., added, “This feels like a dream come true, as the goals and targets we had were achieved in full, and that is a rare thing in the development of systems of this kind.”

Report: Israel’s New F-35s Designed to Let US Disable them over Internet Link

Friday, November 13th, 2015

(JNi.media) A revelation made by Defense Aerospace last week exposes what could emerge as a sinister plot on the part of the US and F-35 maker Lockheed Martin to disable at will the new aircraft while it is in use by a client state.

Back in September, JNi.media quoted Steve Over, Lockheed Martin director for F-35 International Business Development, who said that even though Israel will have “plenty of capability to do light maintenance in-country” for the aircraft, all the heavy maintenance of the airframes and engines will be done at Joint Program Office-managed, company-established facilities “just like we do with all our other partners.”

At the time, we attributed the Americans’ anxiety to the fact that Israeli technicians love messing around with their American machines until their makers can barely recognize them. We wrote: Perhaps betraying their reservations about what usually happens to the American weapons after the Israelis lay their hands on them, Lockheed executives said Israel would be able to add specific capabilities or upgraded functions—which the Israelis love doing—as long as it did not affect the overall design or the aircraft software. As Over put it: “The Israelis have an ability to do some unique things. But anything wholesale that would impact the design or capabilities driving all the airplanes for all the countries would have to be done by consensual agreement.”

According to Defense Aerospace, the US has made a unilateral decision to locate all F-35 software laboratories on US shores, where US personnel will manage the operation and support of all the F-35 fleets, foreign and domestic. This unprecedented move introduces a huge risk that the F-35—which must maintain permanent data exchanges with the software labs and logistic support computers to operate effectively—may be disabled or even downed in extreme cases, any time the two-way flow of information is disrupted.

Mind you, this vulnerability does not refer to a malicious interruption on the part of the US operators, only the loss of Internet service for any reason, such as accidentally corrupted router tables to a malicious Russian submarine cutting the undersea Internet cables which they have been aggressively operating near as of late. But, this same “problem” could become an enormous leverage for the US, should it decide to severely hamper the operation of entire foreign F-35 fleets.

For an aircraft that costs around $100 million per unit, this is some design glitch.

It will mean that all the F-35s in the world will have to update their mission data files and their Autonomic Logistic Information System (ALIS) profiles before and after every sortie—and not while in the air—to guarantee that the systems on-board are programmed with the latest available operational data and that ALIS is kept permanently informed of each aircraft’s technical status and maintenance requirements. At the moment, that process is also excruciatingly slow.

Here’s a fun fact: according to Defense Aerospace, the ALIS has been known to prevent aircraft from taking off because of an incomplete data file.

The F35’s shortcomings are well known, involving hardware malfunctions and software glitches cost its development program three years and $200 billion over budget, according to CNN. Then, while the world was watching, there was that bedeviled mock dog-fight last January, when the spiffy, new F-35 kept losing to the plane it is supposed to replace, the good old F-16, because the F-35 just couldn’t turn quickly enough to engage the F-16.

US Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said back then that the dogfight provided “valuable data,” which could mean a lot of scary things. Then she promised the new F-35 will be a completely different plane when it’s fully operational and will guarantee the US’ continued air supremacy over its rivals.

But when she said that no one would have guessed she was talking about booby trapping the F-35 sold to US allies.

US Defense Secy Ash Carter: Israel’s Security is ‘Top Priority’

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

America’s defense secretary says Israel’s security is a “top priority” for him.

That is what U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter told Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at their meeting in the Prime Minister’s Office this morning in Jerusalem.

The meeting was a first stop of three in the region for the American cabinet secretary, and a first cabinet-level state visit to Israel for the Obama administration.

Carter arrived here Sunday night, and met yesterday (Monday, July 20) with his Israeli counterpart, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.

“Israel’s security and military edge are a top priority for America, our military, and for me,” the American defense secretary told reporters at a joint news conference.

Perhaps so — but the U.S. agreement with Iran in essence legitimizes the Islamic Republic as a nuclear “threshold state” according to senior Israeli defense officials.

The move also enables Iran to more easily finance and otherwise sponsor terror groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad – all of whom operate against Israel in venues around the world.

Carter began his visit to the region in Israel in an attempt to allay concerns over the nuclear deal reached with Tehran last week in Vienna.

He plans to continue on to Jordan and Saudi Arabia where he hopes to calm similar fears in both Sunni nations as well as address the ongoing operations against Da’esh (ISIS). A number of other state leaders involved in that effort will travel to Jordan to meet with Carter and Jordanian military officials about the issue.

Britain and France Boycott Israeli Military Expo

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

Britain, France and several Scandinavian countries have prohibited their countries’ defense officials and private contractors from exhibiting at the 7th annual Israel Defense Expo that opened today at Tel Aviv.

Maariv reports that the Foreign Ministry officials warned that the boycott is only the first reaction to last week’s FIFA debacle in which the Palestinian Authority failed to win its campaign to force Israel to ban soccer teams in Judea and Samaria or be ousted from the corrupt organization.

The problem with the theory of Israel’s answer to the U.S. State Dept.’s Foggy Bottom foreign policy pencil pushers is that there is no way that Britain and France acted so quickly between last Friday and today.

The more likely explanation is that the countries indeed are sending a message to Israel that they are steadfast in their belief that if Israel simply would hand over Judea and Samaria to the Palestinian Authority, the world would be a better place for London and Paris, and never mind Jerusalem and Ramallah.

But that has nothing to do with the soccer silliness. In fact, the European Union voted not to expel Israel from FIFA.

It is true that Israel is losing potential deals with defense contractors at the exhibition, but it is equally true that the countries that are boycotting Israel are shooting themselves in the head. They are losing out on possible sales and contacts with companies from all over the world.

They may be hurting exports from Israel, but trade works in two directions.

One Spanish contractor, banned by Spain from exhibiting in Israel, simply appeared in Tel Aviv under a different name, a security official told Maariv:

They have no will to be identified as a company selling offensive weapons to Israel.

But when asked if their absence damages Israel, the official did not answer.

The reaction of the Foreign Minister officials is not surprising in light of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s recent moves to put some common sense and unity back into the ministry that is over-staffed with people from the days of the Rabin-Peres government, when the Oslo Accords were supposed to bring eternal peace to the Middle East.

His selection of Tzipi Hotovely as Deputy Foreign Minister and former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Dore Gold to direct the ministry have thrown Israel’s establishment media into a trauma.

Hotovely absolutely shocked some of the Foreign Ministry middle-tier staff when she gave them a short lesson of Torah and said that the policy to explain Israel’s position to the world should be based on God’s having granted the Land of Israel to the Jewish People.

The idea of re-inventing the wheel is so revolutionary, or in the minds of the lefties so archaic, that Israel’s leftist oriented establishment media went all out last week to try to convince its readers that Prime Minister Netanyahu is destroying the Foreign Ministry.

Netanyahu Wants US $45 Billion in US Military Aid by 2028

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

The Netanyahu administration is holding talks with American officials for a 13-year military program of $45 billion in aid, Defense News reported.

The current American military aid program for Israel amounts to $3.1 billion a year following an increase from the original $2.4 billion a year from 2007 to 2017.  The new request would grant Israel “$4.2 billion to $4.5 billion,” according to a security source.

The military aid package does not include annual funding for anti-missile systems being developed by the United States and Israel.

A healthy part of American aid ends up in the hands of American defense contractors.

The preliminary talks for a new agreement for military aid also do not take into account aid that President Barack Obama may offer Israel to sugar-coat a deal an agreement with Iran over its nuclear program.

The request for a hike in aid reflects the arms race in the world and especially in the Middle East, where Arab countries have developed or bought sophisticated weapons that can threaten Israel.

Howard Kohr, chief executive officer of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), “estimates that Israel may have to spend $160 billion on defense in the decade to come,” according to Defense News.

Kohr told the House Appropriations subcommittee on foreign operations last month that Israeli defense spending coincides with “accelerated military investment fueled by the oil revenues of Israel’s Arab neighbors.”

In addition, economic sanctions have not stopped Iran from doubling its military spending and development of new weapons. The Islamic Republic also is preparing to receive the advanced S-300 anti-missile systems from Russia, which has indicated it will not be in a rush to deliver the systems to Iran.

 

Saudis Hold Body of U.S. Elbit Subcontractor After Mysterious Death in Tabuk

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

Saudi Arabia has yet to release the body of a U.S. defense subcontractor who was working for Israel’s Elbit Systems when he died under mysterious circumstances after being sent to the country to help complete a weapons deal.

Christopher Cramer was working for Kollsman Inc., a firm that subcontracted for the Israeli defense electronics company, when he was found dead last month on the ground outside his third-floor hotel room in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia.

“We received a message from Kollsman Inc., Elbit Systems’ subcontractor in America, saying its employee Chris Cramer passed away during a work trip,” said a spokesperson for Elbit Systems.

“The circumstances of his death are being investigated by the American State Department. We have no further details at this stage and we are waiting for the State Department to update our American subcontractor. Cramer worked for the company for 12 years. We cannot provide details on the project he was working on, but this is a Kollsman product, an American product with no Israeli technologies involved in its production.”

Cramer, 50, provided technical assistance for a demonstration and sale of a TOW anti-armor missile system as an employee of Kollsman Inc., Fox News reported over the weekend. Authorities in Saudi Arabia claim that Cramer committed suicide by jumping to his death from the third floor of a hotel – but the facts just don’t add up. His family does not believe he committed suicide; they say he was murdered because he appeared to be a threat to the lucrative arms deal that was in process.

Noah Mandell, the family attorney and a longtime friend of Cramer’s, told Fox News the problem was with the customer. “The missile system was already sold to the Saudi company and they were complaining that it wasn’t working,” Mandell said.

“He was basically sent to see if he could prove that they were firing it incorrectly.” Mandell added that he believes the company that purchased the equipment wanted the missiles to malfunction. “The point of sabotaging equipment is you get a customer who has to buy a new set, and you’ve still got the old equipment,” Mandell said.

A spokesperson for Kollsman Inc. said Cramer had even posted a video of one of the missile firings, showing that everything was operating and fully functional. Mandell received messages from Cramer on the night that he died, saying his life was in danger and asking his friend to contact the State Department.

“I’m at the Marakim Tabuk Hotel in Saudi,” he texted his roommate back in New Hampshire when he could not reach Mandell. “I think something bad is going to happen to me tonight. Please contact State Dept. ASAP. Bad things were said.”

Mandell missed three calls within eight minutes on his voice mail that night. Cramer may not have trusted his own employers as well; the company rushed to inform his family that his death was a suicide. Now Kollsman says it will wait for the outcome of the Saudi probe.

“The question is… Why was Chris calling his dog sitter and his lawyer in America instead of his own company? They sent him into hell and had no plan to get him back,” Mandell charged. More to the point, the delivery of Cramer’s body to the United States has been delayed and has still not arrived on U.S. soil. His family is waiting to be able to send it for an autopsy.

Under American law, it is up to the FBI to investigate the circumstances when an U.S. citizen dies overseas – but the FBI gets involved only “if they are invited to do so by the local authorities,” according to the State Department. “They don’t have the jurisdiction to go into a country and start an investigation. They have to be invited in,” an FBI official told The Daily Beast. “Our standard practice is to neither confirm nor deny FBI investigations.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/saudis-hold-body-of-u-s-elbit-subcontractor-after-mysterious-death-in-tabuk/2015/02/01/

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