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Copyright © 2019 The American Israel Public Affairs Committee

Defense Digest: July-September 2019




WATCH: Israel’s Missile Defense Organization and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency conducted a series of successful tests of the Arrow-3 missile defense system in July.


Israel, U.S. Successfully Test Arrow-3 Missile Defense System

In July, the United States and Israel completed a series of successful tests of the advanced Arrow-3 missile defense system in Kodiak, Alaska. Jointly developed and procured by the U.S. and Israel, Arrow-3 is designed to intercept ballistic missiles outside the earth’s atmosphere. Over the course of the 10-day test, Arrow-3 intercepted three mock missiles in hit-to-kill strikes. Arrow-3 is an integral piece of Israel’s multi-tiered missile defense system, which also includes Iron Dome for short-range interceptions and David’s Sling for medium-range interceptions. The Arrow system expands Israel’s defense capabilities by enabling the Jewish state to defend itself against missiles from greater distances and at increased speeds.


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Israel Hosts Multi-National Earthquake Drill

In August, the United States, Greece and France joined Israel for the four-day Mighty Waves disaster response exercise. Other countries, including Cyprus, Canada, Ireland, Germany, Britain and Chile, as well as NATO, observed the emergency preparedness drill. “Israel has to prepare for an earthquake. Statistically it occurs every 100 years and this is the right time to prepare and carry out such a drill,” said Israel Navy Maj. Amichai Rahamim, a key figure in the joint exercise.


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Israel’s Defense Ministry Reveals Three Models for Future Tanks

On Aug. 4, Israel’s Defense Ministry unveiled three new prototypes for current and future tank models as part of its Carmel tank program. Established three years ago, the Carmel (the Hebrew acronym for Advanced Ground Combat Vehicle) is currently receiving a facelift from the Defense Ministry’s Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure.


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U.S. Army Reaches Iron Dome Accord

The U.S. Army finalized an agreement in August to procure two Iron Dome missile defense systems as part of an interim cruise missile defense capability. The Iron Dome system is manufactured in the United States by U.S. defense company Raytheon and was developed in Israel. According to the U.S. Army, Iron Dome will be fielded to operational units and will likely participate in formal and informal exercises to identify how it can be used as part of the Indirect Fires Protection Capability program and air defense architectures. “Iron Dome could feed into an enduring capability,” Daryl Youngman, Deputy Director of the U.S. Air and Missile Defense Cross Functional Team, said.


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Israeli, U.S. Special Forces Simulate Ship Hijacking in Joint Exercise

U.S. and Israeli naval special forces completed a joint large-scale drill in August simulating the retaking of hijacked ships in the Mediterranean Sea. Called Nobel Rose, the exercise occurred amid heightened tensions by Iran in international waters. An Israel Defense Forces spokesperson refused to comment on the precise number of troops that took part in the exercise, but said it was “larger than what we’ve done before.”


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U.S. Army Testing Israel’s Spike Anti-Tank, Guided Missile

On Aug. 26, in the mountains of Arizona, the U.S. Army tested the Israeli-made Spike Non-Line-of-Sight (NLOS) anti-tank, guided missile. The Spike missile targeted a simulated Russian Pantsir medium-range, surface-to-air missile system on the opposite mountain slope. Spike was created by Israeli defense firm Rafael and is battle-proven in Israel. “We took a very challenging shot in this experiment,” U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Wally Rugen said. “To me it was a [multidomain operations]-relevant shot.” A long-range precision munition like Spike — which has the capability to intercept targets 32 km away — will provide the U.S. Army with the tools it needs to combat enemy targets.


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Type: Defense Digest