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Copyright © 2019 The American Israel Public Affairs Committee

Defense Digest: October 2018

On Oct. 8, a U.S. Navy ship docked in the southern Israeli port of Ashdod for the first time in 19 years. (Photo: U.S. Navy)

U.S. Navy Ship Arrives in Ashdod

On Oct. 8, for the first time in 19 years, a U.S. Navy ship docked in the southern Israeli port of Ashdod, a sign of the enhanced defense cooperation between the United States and Israel to combat shared threats such as Iran and its terrorist proxies. Typically, non-Israeli navies dock in the northern port of Haifa, making the USS Ross’ arrival in Ashdod significant. U.S. Sixth Fleet Spokesman Commander Kyle Raines said that the visit “reinforces the strong and enduring partnership between our two nations.”

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United States and Israel Hold Defense Policy Advisory Group Meeting

From Oct. 22-23, U.S. Undersecretary of Defense for Policy John Rood co-chaired a meeting of the U.S.-Israel Defense Policy Advisory Group at the Pentagon with his Israeli counterpart, Defense Ministry Director of Policy and Political Military Affairs Zohar Palti. Aimed at prioritizing bilateral defense cooperation, the two-day meeting also included other senior civilian and military personnel from the U.S. Department of Defense and the Israeli Ministry of Defense. According to the Defense Department’s press release, Rood “reiterated support for Israel’s inherent right to self-defense, and the U.S.’ strong commitment to Israel’s qualitative military edge.”

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Israeli Active Protection Radar Technology to be Equipped on U.S. Army Tanks

The U.S. Army will be arming its M1 Abrams Battle Tanks with ELTA’s WindGuard Active Protection System (APS), Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced on Oct. 8. The United States will be using the technology to “support immediate operational requirements.” In June, ELTA Systems—a subsidiary of IAI—signed an additional contract with the U.S. Army for Rafael & ELTA’s Trophy APS. “The WindGuard radar provides game-changing capabilities for the U.S. Army with its ability to protect the Abrams Battle Tanks against modern battle threats. We are proud to be selected as part of the prestigious U.S. Army MBT Active Protection System,” said ELTA CEO and IAI Executive Vice President Yoav Tourgeman.

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Israeli Companies Present at U.S. Army Exhibition

From Oct. 8-10, more than a dozen Israeli companies participated in the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) annual conference in Washington D.C., one of the world’s largest military land exhibitions. The Israeli pavilion—which was organized by SIBAT, the International Defense Cooperation Directorate within the Israeli Defense Ministry—featured 13 companies offering solutions to protect tactical forces, detect explosives, missile systems, air and sea motion detection systems and more. According to SIBAT Director Brig-Gen. (res.) Michel Ben-Baruch, “Israeli companies exhibiting at Israel’s National Pavilion bring with them advanced technologies that have already been proven operationally.”

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Israeli Aerospace Industries North America Expands U.S. Operations

The CEO of Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) North America has announced plans to increase the company’s operations in the United States, according to an Oct. 10 Defense News report. Currently, IAI North America—itself a subsidiary of Israel’s largest aerospace and defense company—has two U.S. subsidiaries: Stark Aerospace in Mississippi and ELTA North America in Maryland. In September, Stark introduced the “Made in Mississippi” Arrow-3 anti-ballistic missile canister as the first step in its effort to expand operations in America. Arrow-3 production involves more than 20 U.S. states, with more than 100 jobs supported by Stark’s canister production in Mississippi alone.

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