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Copyright © 2019 The American Israel Public Affairs Committee

Defense Digest: August 2018



On Aug. 13, the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act was signed into law. Sen. McCain devoted 60 years of service to the United States and was a strong advocate for the U.S.-Israel relationship. Read AIPAC's statement on his passing. (AP/Sarah Walsh)

President Signs Annual Defense Authorization Bill with Key Pro-Israel Provisions

On Aug. 13, President Trump signed into law the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which authorized defense spending for fiscal year (FY) 2019, including critical pro-Israel provisions that will help protect Israel against mounting security threats. The bipartisan bill authorized $500 million for U.S.-Israel missile defense cooperation and up to $50 million for U.S.-Israel counter-tunnel cooperation. The measure authorizes full funding for cooperative missile defense programs in accordance with the 2016 U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding on security assistance. Specifically, it authorizes funding for both R&D and procurement for the Iron Dome, David’s Sling, Arrow-2 and Arrow-3 missile defense systems. These programs enable Israel to defend its citizens while advancing America’s own defense capabilities.

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FY19 NDAA Includes First of its Kind U.S.–Israel Counter-Drone Program

For the first time, the most recent NDAA included bipartisan provisions on U.S.-Israel cooperation in countering unmanned aerial systems. This cooperation will fill capability gaps for American and Israeli security needs and builds on previous successful programs that the U.S. and Israel have engaged in such as missile defense and anti-tunnel cooperation.

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Israeli Navy Participates in World’s Largest Maritime Exercise for First Time

An Israeli Navy delegation participated for the first time in the month-long Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) near Hawaii, which was hosted by the U.S. Navy and included dozens of countries, 47 warships, 200 fighter planes and five submarines. One of the exercises involved a large international naval maneuver in which an enemy blocks a critical sea route, particularly relevant in light of recent Iranian threats to block the Strait of Hormuz. Israeli sailors served with the U.S. central command team at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam in Hawaii, deepening Israel’s relationship with the U.S. military.

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Israel Signs Accord with the U.S. Air Force

On Aug. 1, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) signed an agreement with the U.S. Air Force to increase cooperation in 2018 and 2019. While focusing on the F-35 aircraft, the agreement deals with cooperation in the fields of acquisition, training, intelligence, safety, operation and medicine. IAF Chief of Staff Brig. Gen. Tomer Bar and Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force Maj. Gen. Stephen W. Oliver Jr. signed the agreement. “The United States is our main strategic partner,” Brig. Gen. Bar said. “Our partnership with the Americans can be seen in tactics and operation — from intelligence, through operation of force programs and to mutual cooperative exercises. This meeting leads to a deep partnership and open discourse regarding every field in our cooperation.”

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Israeli Company Wins Award from U.S. Department of Defense and Israel Ministry of Defense

Israeli startup CardioScale won the top prize at the 2018 Combating Terrorism Technology Startup Challenge, which is organized by the U.S. Department of Defense and Israeli Ministry of Defense. The company created a portable sensor that can be used to check vital cardiovascular data in seconds and determine a patient's actual condition, allowing first responders to better prioritize patients in multiple-casualty situations. CardioScale CEO Maoz Ben Ari says the device will be provided to the U.S. Department of Defense once its development its finalized.

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Israeli Company Developed Innovative ATV Purchased by U.S. Army

The U.S. Army purchased a number of Israeli-developed EZRaider all-terrain vehicles following a successful evaluation. Developed by Israeli company DSRaider, the system provides a solution for quickly navigating rough terrain that previously was only accessible by foot. It has a narrow design that allows for greater flexibility to traverse through difficult areas in near silence. One model, the HD4, adds four-wheel drive capability and can reach speeds of 70km/h (43mph), with an operational range of up to 80 kilometers (50 miles). The Israeli military is also conducting an operational evaluation, while Israeli police units are already using the technology. “This new revolutionary vehicle creates an unexpected dimension when it comes to speed and distance and that among other things create the capability to surprise the enemy. It will without any doubt make a revolution in the operation of special forces,” said Israeli Maj. Gen. (res.) Eyal Eizenberg.

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Type: Defense Digest