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August 25, 2016 / 21 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘defense’

Elbit ‘Seagull’ Unmanned Surface Vehicle Passes Test, Fires Torpedo

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

Israeli defense firm Elbit Systems Ltd. has for the first time ever, successfully tested a 12-meter-long unmanned surface vessel (USV), complete with launching a torpedo.

The system is comprised of replaceable mission modules, with two vessels capable of being operated and controlled in concert using a single Mission Control System (MCS), from manned ships or from the shore. According to Elbit the system provides “mission planning and on-line operation in known and unknown areas, including area survey, search, detection, classification, identification, neutralization and verification. It is equipped to search the entire water volume and operate underwater vehicles to identify and neutralize mines.”

The Seagull was tested in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea off Israel’s northern coastline near Haifa. The trial successfully proved the system’s ability to install, carry and launch lightweight torpedoes (underwater missiles).

“The success of this test demonstrates Seagull’s modular mission system capability, enabling a highly effective ASW (anti-submarine warfare) configuration of high-performance dipping sonar using two single tube torpedoes,” said Ofer Ben-Dov, Elbit Systems Vice President of the Naval Systems Business Line ISTAR Division.

“The test highlighted Seagull’s capacity to detect and engage submarines in addition to its ability to detect and destroy sea mines, all using the same multi-mission USV system in modular configurations.

“This new and important capability has, to date, only been available to navies through manned vehicles,” Ben-Dov explained.

The USV is to be used in unmanned maritime missions such as anti-submarine warfare, counter-mine operations, or the protection of offshore oil and gas rigs such as those currently operating in Israel’s Tamar and Leviathan gas reserves, among numerous others.

There have been numerous threats to Israel’s natural gas fields by the Lebanon-based Hezbollah terror organization as well as by the Lebanese government and others over the past several years.

The new Seagull USV will be a new and versatile element in the defense system employed to protect those assets, as well as defend Israel’s coastline from Iranian and other potential terrorist suppliers attempting to provide arms and other contraband to Hamas in Gaza.

Hana Levi Julian

IDF Acquires New Long-Range Rocket From IMI

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

One usually associates the acquisition of the long-range rockets with Iran, Hezbollah or terrorists in Gaza.

But it turns out the IDF has just acquired an exquisitely accurate long-range rocket produced by Israeli defense firm Israel Military Industries (IMI)– the new long-range Taas EXTRA (Extended Range Artillery Rocket) missile.

The Taas, capable of hitting a target within a 10-meter accuracy radius even as far as 150 kilometers away, is part of Israel’s new arsenal being developed in preparation for a possible future conflict with Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The Taas EXTRA long-range rocket manufactured by IMI.

The missile is described by the firm as a “precise, cost-effective, tactical-range artillery rocket” that allows ground force commanders to “influence the battlefield” at a range of 20 to 150 kilometers.

Developed in the IMI factory in Givon, the new rocket is approximately four meters long, with a diameter of 30 centimeters, and capable of carrying a variety of warheads up to a weight of 120 kilograms.

It’s a highly accurate rocket with a proven effectiveness against a “wide range of high payoff targets across the tactical battlefield,” according to the company.

The Taas will enable Israel to attack and eliminate any number of targets in Lebanon, should that prove necessary. This will also reduce the cost and complications of aerial attacks against the Iranian-backed Hezbollah guerrilla group where they hide north of Israel’s borders.

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli, US Leaders Celebrate New ‘Adir’ F-35 Stealth Fighter Jet

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and IAF Chief of Staff Brig.-Gen. Tal Kelman joined top U.S. government and Lockheed Martin officials on Wednesday in celebrating the rollout of the “Adir” — Israel’s first F-35A Lightning II Stealth fighter jet.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro and Israeli Minister without portfolio Tzachi Hanegbi also joined the celebration, as did 400 other guests from government, military and the industrial sectors. Texas Governor Greg Abbott and U.S. Congressman Craig Goldman were present as well.

“Israel is proud to be the first country in the area to receive and operate [the Stealth fighter],” Liberman said. “The F-35 is the best aircraft in the world and the choice of all our military leadership at its highest level. It is clear and obvious to us and to the entire region that the new F-35, the Adir, will create real deterrence and enhance our capabilities for a long time.”

The aircraft has an advanced capability to defeat emerging threats, including advanced missiles and heavily-defended air space, combining advanced low observable stealth technology with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment support.

“The F-35 technology represents the crown jewel of air-power superiority and will therefore be a great contribution to the IDF’s air force,” Liberman said, stressing that diplomatic tensions between Israel and the U.S. have not affected security cooperation between the two nations.

“It’s not a secret that we have from time to time some disagreements, some disputes, with the U.S. on the political level regarding some solutions with our neighbors,” he noted. “But when it comes to Israel’s security, we really enjoy full understanding, fruitful cooperation and strong commitment to our security concerns and needs.”

Lockheed Martin chair, president and CEO Marillyn Hewson agreed. “We’re honored to partner with Israel and help strengthen the deep and lasting partnership between our two nations,” she said. “The F-35 will help Israel remain a beacon of strength and stability in the region and support a safe and secure homeland for generations to come.”

Israel’s first delegation of pilots will arrive next month in the United States to begin simulator and ground-based training on the new stealth fighter. A total of 12 pilots are set for training at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona and by the middle of next year will have completed a 100-day U.S. Air Force training program that prepares them for actual flight training on the aircraft in Israel.

By 2018, another 10 to 15 pilots are to be selected for another round of training, according to a report last week by Defense News. Meanwhile, Israel has sent dozens of people to Eglin Air Force Base to attend maintenance training courses that can last between two to four months.

The IAF is working with Lockheed Martin and F-35 program officials to complete the construction of the Israeli logistics center at Nevatim Air Base in in the Negev. The center will use Lockheed Martin’s Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS), a worldwide sustainment network that provides maintenance support for the aircraft for the duration of its projected 55-year lifespan.

The point of the independent logistics center in southern Israel has to do with the unique conditions under which Israelis are forced to live: The constant threat of rocket fire and other terror attacks makes it necessary for Israel to be able to maintain and repair its F-35 fleet immediately, on site, if and when the aircraft is being used during a conflict.

Hana Levi Julian

Liberman Embarks on First visit to DC as Defense Minister Amid Military Aid Dispute

Sunday, June 19th, 2016

Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) is coming to Washington DC on his inaugural visit as Defense Minister against the background of a dispute between the White House and Congress over increasing US support for Israel’s missile defense research and development. He’ll be meeting with US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, who maintained a personal friendship with Liberman’s ousted predecessor, Moshe Ya’alon (Likud). Liberman and Carter are expected to discuss the White House proposal for a long-term US military aid, which would be larger than the current package, but conditioned on Israeli agreement not to solicit additional military aid from Congress.

Last Tuesday the Administration opposed a call by Congress to increase funding for Israel’s missile defense program by $455 million, to $600 million, well above the 2017 fiscal year White House budget request.

Israel is looking to expand the US annual military aid package from the current $3.2 billion to upwards of $4.5 billion, a portion of which would go to purchases from Israeli companies. The White House is looking at a more modest increase over 10 years, and for the entire amount to be spent in the US.

According to a senior defense ministry source speaking to Ma’ariv, the military aid package is not the central purpose of the visit, rather the trip is mainly planned for introductory meetings with key players in the defense department and in Congress. “We don’t expect dramatic breakthroughs in the coming week,” the source said.

Liberman will also meet with the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Committees.

On Wednesday, Liberman will attend the Lockheed Martin roll out ceremony for the F-35 fighter planes purchased by the Israeli air force — the first of which is expected to arrive in Israel in December. The defense minister will also tour an Elbit Systems plant and meet in New York with the defense ministry purchasing delegation.

According to Walla, there is a dispute between the professional echelon in the defense ministry and Prime Minister Netanyahu over the American proposal, with the DM staff recommending signing the aid package now, and Netanyahu preferring to wait out this administration and dealing with the next president, Clinton or Trump, either one of whom would be more pro-Israel.

Liberman is much more liked by the current administration than Netanyahu, because back when Secretary of State John Kerry was still pushing for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement based on the 1967 borders, Liberman, then Israel’s foreign minister, supported the US effort, saying this was the best deal Israel could expect.

In that vein, Liberman is expected to use the opportunity of his US visit to allay fears regarding his hawkish reputation on defense, by making a major dovish statement about the two-state-solution.

JNi.Media

Netanyahu: No Cuts in US Support for Missile Defense

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office issued the following statement regarding the dispute between the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the Obama Administration over US support for Israel’s anti-missile program:

“In the wake of numerous misleading reports, the Prime Minister’s bureau would like to clarify there has been no cut in American assistance. There is an internal debate between Congress and the White House on the size of the annual supplement to the missile defense program.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu is working to anchor this supplement as part of the discussions on the assistance agreement for the next ten years.

“Not only will security assistance for missile defense not be cut, it will be increased.

“The attempt to turn the dialogue with the US into a domestic Israeli political tool is improper; expressions of panic are not warranted,” the PM’s statement concluded.

David Israel

AIPAC ‘Deeply Disappointed’ Obama Won’t Up Israel’s Missile Defense by $445 Million

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) issued a statement criticizing the White House Office of Management and Budget’s “Statement of Administration Policy” which threatened to veto the Senates $576 billion defense spending bill, among other reasons because the statement of policy “opposes the addition of $455 million above the FY 2017 Budget request for Israeli missile defense procurement and cooperative development programs.”

Last month, the Senate Appropriations Committee recommended $600 million in funding for 2017, which represents an increase of $455 million over the president’s original request.

The statement of administration policy released Tuesday by the Office of Management and Budget reads: “The bill is inconsistent with the [Bipartisan Budget Act], and the administration strongly objects to the inclusion of problematic ideological provisions that are beyond the scope of funding legislation. … If the president were presented with H.R. 5293, the President’s senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.”

One of those “problematic ideological provisions” is the increased allocation for Israel’s missile defense research and development.

The White House used the same tactic against the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act, which the president also threatened to veto.

AIPAC said in a statement that it was “deeply disappointed” with the White House’s choosing to include the increase in defense spending on Israel’s missile programs in the components of the budget to which it objected. “On a bipartisan basis, Congress has increased funding above administration requests this year, as it has done for well over a decade,” AIPAC said. “These cooperative programs—including the Arrow, David’s Sling, and Iron Dome—are critical for Israel’s defense against a growing array of missile threats and make an important contribution to US missile defense programs. We applaud Congress for consistently supporting these key programs, and urge their full funding in both the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization and Appropriations Acts.”

Incidentally, on the same day the White House announced it would not increase the funding for Iron Dome, among other programs, DefenseNews reported that after five years of a stellar performance in which Iron Dome has been credited with more than 1,500 operational intercepts—a 90% success rate, and despite a reported widespread global interest, government and industry sources say Israel’s Iron Dome anti-rocket intercepting system, developed by state-owned Rafael Ltd., has not yet been sold to a single customer.

“Who else in the world is constantly threatened by rockets?” former head of Israel’s Missile Defense Organization Uzi Rubin asked DN, noting: “It’s essentially only us and perhaps sheikhdoms in the Persian Gulf, where for obvious reasons, we do not yet export.”

Rubin did not mention that in other, saner parts of the world, persistent rocket attacks from, say, Mexico, against, say, the US, would result in a one-time search and destroy response, rather than with a technological solution such as Iron Dome that contains those unceasing rocket attacks. You don’t have to be Donald Trump to figure that one out.

David Israel

DM Liberman Names New Defense Ministry Chief

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman has named Sharon Shalom has his new chief of staff for the Defense Ministry.

Shalom previously served as Liberman’s chief of staff at the Foreign Ministry between 2009 until 2015, when Liberman served as Foreign Minister of Israel.

Shalom is 41 and has 4 children.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/dm-liberman-names-new-defense-ministry-chief/2016/06/14/

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