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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘defense’

Iran Holds Massive Air Defense Drill

Monday, November 12th, 2012

As rocket barrages assault southern Israel, Iran launched its own air operations Monday, in the form of massive air defense drills.

Velayat-4 maneuvers will span 850,000 square kilometers – about half of the entire country – this week, and will include 8,000 troops from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard and other military arms, F-4, F-5, F-7, F-14 fighter planes, bombers, refueling planes, drones, and missile and artillery systems, according to Iranian media on Monday.

Last week, tensions flared between the US and Iran when Iranian warplanes fired at an unarmed US drone over international waters on November 1. Iran said the craft violated its airspace.

Though the drills seem ominously tied to the incident and to Israel’s current security situation, the drills appear to have been in the works since September.

Iran also held “Great Prophet 7” missile exercises in July, and announced in August that it had tested short-range missiles under a new guidance system capable of reaching land and sea targets.

Egypt Conducts Surprise Air Defense Exercise after IAF Disrupted Its Radar En Route To Sudan

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

During the early morning hours on Monday, residents of Cairo, Alexandria, Damietta and other areas reported in panic that they were hearing explosions and planes flying at low latitude over heavily populated areas, reports Yoni Alper’s Terror Watch. It turned out to be a surprise exercise carried out by the Egyptian Air Force, to test the aerial defense system in various regions, in the wake of the alleged Israeli attack on the Yarmouk factory complex, which produced weapons for the Sudanese army and Iranian rebel guards, in the Khartoum area.

The alleged Israeli attack on the factory apparently caused damage to containers of advanced weapons systems to be smuggled to Iranian terror organizations in Gaza or other Iranian-backed groups. On their alleged bombing mission, the Israeli planes, using advanced electronic devices, succeeded in avoiding detection by the Egyptian radar system while flying over the Red Sea.

On Monday, the Egyptian army put out an announcement saying it was conducting a surprise exercise where, among other things, planes broke the sound barrier, to test the efficiency of the aerial defense forces in light of current developments and threats to the area.

Although the Egyptian army referred to it as an exercise, Egyptian sources on social media networks denied this and claimed that Israeli Air Force planes infiltrated Egyptian air space. They claimed that Israel deployed stealth F-35 fighter aircraft. They further claimed that conducting a large scale exercise during the holiday period (Feast of the Sacrifice) was unusual and that the army’s announcement sounded very strange.

The Egyptian army denied reports on the matter and referred to them as lies. An army spokesman further explained that according to an agreement with the United States, the IDF would not make use of the F-35 aircraft before 2016.

Incidentally, there already have been claims regarding Israel’s utilizing Egyptian air space for attacks on the Gaza strip during the IDF’s Operation Cast Lead in late 2008 and early 2009, under former President Hosni Mubarak.

The Lockheed Martin F-35 is a single-seat, single-engine, multi-role fighter that can perform ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defense missions with some stealth capability.

Egypt’s Sinai Problem and Ours

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

A striking photo essay [here] from EgyptSource focuses on the stark realities of Sinai and the multiple challenges it poses to the Egyptians. EgyptSource, a project of the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, 

follows Egypt’s transition and provides a platform for Egyptian perspectives on the major issues – economic, political, legal, religious and human rights – that are at stake in the post-Mubarak era…

Needless to say, given its physical proximity to Israel, Sinai is not only an Egyptian challenge. That it gets such a small degree of media attention is a puzzle.

The essay that accompanies the images, by Mosaab Elshamy and published yesterday, starts this way:

Army checkpoints on the road to Sinai are almost an indication of a region at war. The vast peninsula bordering Egypt with Gaza and Israel rose to the forefront of the new Egyptian government’s troubles after an army checkpoint was attacked by unknown militants last Ramadan, killing 16 soldiers. This was not the first attack of its kind in Sinai – the region has been a hotbed of militants long before the revolution, but even more so after the fall of Mubarak. This was, however, the deadliest attack seen in Sinai, and the first under President Morsi’s rule. Backed by public anger, the military launched Operation Eagle to hunt down those behind the attack. Different claims have been made regarding the outcome, but what is evident from my visit to the region is that little has changed.

All that Sinai has become notorious for – smuggling of weapons, torturing Africans and rise of militancy – remains unchanged. The army had also declared its intention to close down the tunnels connecting Sinai to the besieged Gaza strip, but in Rafah economic activity is booming with trucks full of goods coming in and out of the town almost every hour of the day.

The same lack of security along with rise of Islamist extremists led to yet another sectarian attack on the Coptic minority in Rafah, causing many to flee for their lives, almost 2 years after their church was burnt by armed militants. [More]

Sunday produced two disturbing illustrations of today’s Sinai realities – again, almost no media coverage.

Gunmen attack buildings in Sinai’s Dahab Maan News | Published yesterday (updated) 29/10/2012 21:34

EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — Gunmen attacked government buildings on Sunday in the Egyptian city of Dahab in the Sinai peninsula, security officials said. Bedouin gunmen attacked a checkpoint at the entrance to the popular Sinai tourist destination and also attacked local government headquarters and a hospital, Egyptian security officials told Ma’an. Disorder has spread in Sinai since former President Hosni Mubarak was ousted in a popular uprising last year, with Islamist militants stepping up attacks on security forces and the Israeli border. Egypt’s president, Muhammad Mursi, has vowed to restore order.

6 hurt in shooting on children’s park in south Sinai Maan News | Published Sunday 28/10/2012 (updated) 28/10/2012 23:09

SHARM AL-SHEIKH, Egypt (Ma’an) — Gunmen opened fire in a children’s park in south Sinai on Saturday night, wounding six, officials said. The al-Fayrouz park in al-Tur city was packed with families celebrating the Eid al-Adha holiday when a group of Bedouin men opened fire, witnesses said. Four children, a man and woman suffered injuries, some serious, medics said. One child lost the fingers on her left hand, they said.

Then there’s this additional aspect of the Sinai challenge; the op ed below from Al Arabiya provides a small window into the conflicted states of mind that characterize the Egyptian – and other Arab sub-groups’ – views of the Palestinian Arabs and the multidimensional challenges they have posed for three generations.

A Palestinian state in Sinai? By AHMAD NAGUIB ROUSHDY Al Arabiya

Rumour has it, and some articles in Egyptian newspapers have stated that the increasing crossings of Palestinians to the Egyptian Sinai through the illegal tunnels between Egypt and Gaza have been taking place in accordance with a plan by the Islamist-led government of Hamas in Gaza, which has ties with the Muslim Brotherhood-led government of President Mohamed Mursiin Egypt. The aim is to settle the Palestinians in Sinai, not as refugees but as a permanent homeland for them and to declare a Palestinian state there, substituting it for the West Bank… Every Egyptian sympathizes with the Palestinian cause, and much Egyptian blood has been shed in defense of it. But if these rumors are true, the Palestinians have shown themselves to be ungrateful and could be considered to be Egypt’s enemies. The Egyptian government should force any Palestinians now in Sinai to return to where they came from, since they cannot be considered refugees. The Mursi government’s ties with Hamas should not compromise Egypt’s security and sovereignty. When President Mursi in his speech at the United Nations General Assembly in September called for the right of the Palestinians to establish an independent state, he meant in Palestine and not in Egypt. Any Egyptian who helps the Palestinians or others to plunder our land must be considered a traitor. [More here]

Good to keep in mind when simple solutions are next offered up for the complex challenges in this part of the world.

Iran Claims Its Drone Transmitted Pictures of Restricted IDF Sites

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said on Sunday that Iran has in its possession UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) which are far more advanced than the one which the Hezbollah recently sent into Israel.

“Definitely, the technology of the drone which recently flew into the ‘Quds occupier regime’ by the Lebanese resistance movement and amazed the enemies is not the newest Iranian technology,” Vahidi noted.

On October 6, a Hezbollah drone penetrated Israeli airspace and, according to the Iranian news agency Mehr, came “very close to the Dimona nuclear plant without being detected by advanced Israeli and U.S. radar systems.”

The IDF Spokesperson’s office reported at the time that the drone was seen on Israel’s radar the entire time, and the IAF was waiting for an opportunity to shoot it down where it won’t cause damage to people or property.

The Iranian defense minister said Israel had made a lot of publicity over its Iron Dome air defense shield but the infiltration of the drone into the country “proved scandalous for Tel Aviv.

Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on October 21 that “the UAV that recently was able to penetrate into the occupying regime frightened the Zionist regime.”

On Monday Mehr quoted Esmail Kowsari, chair of the Iranian parliament’s defense committee, who said that Iran holds pictures of Israeli bases and other restricted areas, transmitted from the drone launched into Israeli airspace.

“These aircraft transmit their pictures online, and right now we possess pictures of restricted areas,” Kowsari said.

Reuters commented that Iran’s military regularly announces defense and engineering developments, but some analysts are “skeptical of the reliability of such reports.”

Nobody Here But Us Patriots

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Here are U.S. soldiers during a joint exercise with the Patriot anti-missile system in Tel Aviv, yesterday, October 24. This is part of the large joint missile defense exercise of the IDF and the U.S. Army.

The Patriot missile system is designed to detect, target and then hit incoming missiles. Thise missiles are often not more than 10 long and flying faster than the speed of sound.

The Patriot is a guided missile, with an infrared seeker that’s sensitive to engine heat. A ground-based, high performance radar finds, identifies and track the targets, and can lock on it when it’s as far away as 50 miles. An incoming missile flying at 5 times the speed of sound is going at about one mile per second. Once the missile is detected, the system makes automatic detection and launching decisions. Humans are just too slow for that one.

Back in the first Gulf War, the Patriots’ performance left much to be desired. The House Government Operations Subcommittee on Legislation and National Security reported that the “Patriot missile system was not the spectacular success in the Persian Gulf War that the American public was led to believe. There is little evidence to prove that the Patriot hit more than a few Scud missiles launched by Iraq during the Gulf War, and there are some doubts about even these engagements. The public and the United States Congress were misled by definitive statements of success issued by administration and Raytheon representatives during and after the war.”

A Fifth Estate documentary quotes former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Arens as saying the Israeli government was so dissatisfied with the performance of the missile defense, it wanted to launch its own military retaliation on Iraq, despite American objectio (the U.S. was worried about reactions from Arab members of the Coalition of the Willing).

Obviously, much has been improved in two-plus decades – let’s hope. And also let’s hope those young men are having a good stay in Tel Aviv. It’s an amazing city with cheap bike rentals…

Missile Defense: Serious Business as Usual

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

The major argument against taking preemptive military action against Iran is the fear that Tehran’s retaliatory capability will engulf the Middle East and other regions in serious violence and turmoil, throwing the world’s already fragile economy into a deep recession or even an economic depression.

This mindset is coupled with a peculiar assumption that absent military action the only viable default position is some form of tepid engagement and rhetorically tough diplomacy, which quickly becomes an embrace of the status quo. That position essentially equates to acceptance — albeit without much enthusiasm — of the creeping incrementalism, sanctions off-and-on again, and a passive, “business as usual,” or “containment,” approach in dealing with Iran.

This is a perilous proposition.

New reports reveal that Iran is moving full speed ahead with its nuclear program, and is in full possession of advanced, long-range missiles with which to deliver warheads. Assembling the warheads onto the missiles takes no time and is not complicated. Iran has doubled its production capacity for enriched uranium in its underground facility. The Parchin military facility has been sanitized, making inspections futile.

Other parallel developments should raise serious concerns for America and our allies, including China’s expanding its missile production beyond previous Western estimates.

In addition, assessments that Iran possesses only leftover Soviet Scud rocket motors have been thoroughly negated, and new cooperative missile and nuclear technology agreements between North Korea, Iran, and China have come to light.

Perhaps worse yet, Russia, Iran and Venezuela continue to discuss basing missiles near Caracas, right here in our own hemisphere.

U.S. combat commanders, mindful of these developments, have repeatedly noted the need for more inventories of U.S. missile defense elements.

Congress should heed this call even as naysayers recycle misperceptions and half-truths about missile defense.

Twenty years ago, after the end of the Cold War and during the Capitol Hill debates about the future of missile defense, critics often argued that other defense technologies should be prioritized ahead of missile defense; and military commanders’ assessments of such needs were often cited to justify cuts to missile defense programs.

Also problematic is the misguided, wish-fulfillment reporting today: it implies that the $9 billion spent on missile defense and its related components by the U.S. military services and the Missile Defense Agency are somehow very “Cold War-like” and thus unnecessary.

It is no surprise then that the 30 long-range interceptors in Alaska and California, and the prospects of a European-based capability to shoot down long-range Iranian missiles, are too often labeled “unnecessary,” “provocative” and “too costly.”

Sadly, until a nuclear bomb goes off in or above an American city, the professional “business as usual” enthusiasts will advocate the status quo.

But as Robert Walpole, an expert analyst at the CIA, among others, has noted: Iran and North Korea are in the ICBM business and just a “third stage working” away from an ICBM capability.

Russian’s serial condemnation of U.S. missile defense deployments rings hollow: the missile threats we face are not governed solely by Moscow and, in fact, are sustained and assisted, in part, by Russian cooperation and trade – rendering our need for missile defense more urgent, not less so. Our combat commanders, as well, are asking for greater production of our missile defenses.

Fortunately, an additional $1 billion a year in support could significantly bolster world-wide missile defense deployments and provide the U.S. and its allies better protection of the homeland.

Of particular need are more Standard Missiles – such as SM-3 1Bs being tested now – which will be deployed on our Navy Aegis ships at home and abroad. We should also focus resources on upgrading the current defense of the continental United States by both modernizing our 30 interceptors in Alaska and California and expanding the use of SM-3s and other defenses in the protection of the East Coast and southern Gulf region of the United States. The number of THAAD batteries in use should also be expanded.

Additional deployments of the Israeli Iron Dome system, including by such allies as the Republic of Korea, are also needed more fully to protect the U.S. and its allies. Some 16 nations have expressed interest in purchasing this system, a sale that would further enhance U.S. security.

Additional work should be initiated on space-based elements of missile defense to take critical advantage of U.S. technological prowess and deal with more sophisticated offensive missile threats.

If we remain wedded to the “business as usual” escapist wishes on Iran and a host of other geostrategic puzzles, we should at least pay attention to Richard Miniter’s prescient warning that “in the real world, leaders cannot afford to experiment with dreams.”

In the absence, then, of a willingness to eliminate the mullahs’ nuclear and terrorist threats, at the very minimum it behooves us, as Americans, to reflect honestly on these gathering threats, and abide by that constitutional requirement to “provide for the common defense.”

Originally published by the Gatestone Institute.

Israel Negotiating Acquisition of 4 Missile Boats from S. Korea

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

In a deal estimated at 400 million dollars, Israel’s Ministry of Defense is in the advanced stages of negotiations for the acquisition of four missile boats from South Korea. This deal, one of several large scale defense deals being carried out between Israel and this Asian country, is expected to repair the damage caused to the cooperation between the two countries after Israel’s purchase of training planes a few months ago from Italy rather than from South Korea, Maariv reported.

The deal was confirmed by a Korean source, while a source in the Israeli defense department told Maariv that several defense deals were being considered with South Korea, among them the acquisition of missile boats which would be built according to Israeli Navy specifications.

Over the past few months, the Israeli Navy has been exploring the possibility of acquiring updated missile boats from manufacturers all over the world. In the course of deliberations regarding the multi-year plan for equipping the Navy, there were demands for escalating the process in light of the new mission of protecting the off-shore gas drilling facilities in the Mediterranean.

Much tension existed between Israel and South Korea over the past few months. The Asian industrial giant was competing in a Defense Ministry tender for the purchase of 30 training planes by the Navy worth approximately one billion dollars. The two competitors for this tender were a South Korean and an Italian company. The Air Force considered the competition “very close” as both plane models were of high quality and suited the requirements of the Israeli Air Force.

Israel’s Elbit Wins $17.5 Million Boeing Contract

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Defense electronics manufacturer and integrator Elbit Systems of America, established and based in Haifa, has announced that it has won a $17.5 million contract to redesign and upgrade the Apache Longbow (AH-64D Block III) mission processor for the Boeing Company.

According to a report by Globes online business magazine, the upgrades will enable Apaches to network and conduct on-board computing processes, and will take 5 years to complete.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israels-elbit-wins-17-5-million-boeing-contract/2012/10/22/

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