On Feb. 6, the U.S. Department of Defense and Israel’s Defense Ministry confirmed that the U.S. Army will purchase the Israeli-designed Iron Dome missile defense system to protect U.S. service members deployed abroad. The Army intends to use the system to fill an immediate need, while leaving open the option for future large-scale acquisition. Performing at close to a 90 percent success rate, Iron Dome successfully intercepts most short-range rockets that would otherwise strike populated areas, by shooting down incoming projectiles midair. Noting the system’s proven effectiveness, the Army’s statement said, “Iron Dome will be assessed and experimented as a system that is currently available to protect deployed U.S. military service members against a wide variety of indirect fire threats and aerial threats.”
From Feb. 7-14, approximately 300 U.S. service members and 400 Israeli soldiers from the Israeli Air Force (IAF) and the U.S. European Command participated in the Juniper Falcon military exercise. The bilateral exercise is part of an agreement between the U.S. and Israel meant to preserve and improve strategic cooperation between the countries and militaries. This year’s exercise focused on simulating the deployment of U.S. forces in Israel to assist with missile defense.
From Feb. 13-21, the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Andrea Thompson traveled to Israel for this year’s U.S.-Israel Joint Political Military Group (JPMG) meeting with Israel’s Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs. This year’s topics included political-military issues such as regional security, arms control and nonproliferation policy, missile defense cooperation, and export control matters. The Under Secretary, in addition, met with senior government officials and received briefings on how the Israeli government is addressing its security challenges. The JPMG, originally established in 1983, is a biannual forum for both countries to discuss and implement joint cooperative efforts such as combined planning, joint exercises and logistics. The JPMG also discusses current political-military issues of mutual strategic concern. The meeting’s location alternates between Israel and Washington.
UVision Air in Israel, a maker of loitering munitions, is looking to expand its business to the U.S. through the launch of a new subsidiary, UVision USA. The Israeli company has developed a forward-leaning system that offers a lightweight precision-strike munition with the ability to reduce collateral damage. Israel is a pioneer in these types of systems, and has worked with U.S.-based Raytheon on them in the past.
Type: Defense Digest