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Copyright © 2019 The American Israel Public Affairs Committee

Defense Digest: September 2018

Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems plans to demonstrate its lighter active protection capability on a U.S. Army Stryker combat vehicle in early 2019. (Photo: DVIDS)

House Unanimously Adopts Bill on U.S. Security Assistance to Israel

On Sept. 12, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted the Ileana Ros-Lehtinen U.S.-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018 (S. 2497). The legislation seeks to ensure that Israel has the means to defend itself, by itself, against growing threats—most significantly Iran’s presence on its northern border. The bipartisan bill authorizes agreed-upon increases in Israel’s security assistance, as called for in the 2016 U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding on security assistance. The legislation also encourages expanding U.S. weapons stockpiles in Israel and advancing U.S.-Israel cooperation in anti-drone technologies and space.

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Israel’s Rafael to Present Lighter Active Protection Capability on U.S. Stryker

In early 2019, Israeli defense company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems plans to demonstrate its lighter active protection capability on a U.S. Army Stryker combat vehicle in the United States, according to a Sept. 24 Defense News report. In 2017, the U.S. Army authorized the installation of Israel’s Trophy active-protection system (APS) on a number of its M1 Abrams tanks, making it the first military outside of the Israel Defense Forces to employ the system. Now, the United States may be looking to eventually acquire the new, lighter version of Trophy—called the Trophy Vehicle Protection System (VPS)—which Rafael recently tested over a six-week period in July and August.

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Congress Passes U.S.-Israel Missile Defense Funding

On Sept. 19 and 26, the Senate and House respectively passed the Fiscal Year 2019 Defense Appropriations conference report, including key provisions to help Israel address critical security challenges. The spending bill contains a total of $500 million for U.S.-Israel missile defense cooperation, in accordance with the 2016 U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding on security assistance. These funds will support both research and development for and procurement of the Iron Dome, David’s Sling, Arrow-2 and Arrow-3 cooperative missile defense systems—important programs that help Israel defend its citizens against rockets and missiles while also advancing America’s own missile defense capabilities. This legislation also includes a total of $47.5 million for critical U.S.-Israel anti-tunnel cooperation. This funding will enable America and Israel to continue their joint efforts to defeat the threat posed by terrorist organizations like Hamas and similar threats America faces in the Middle East and beyond.

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IAI Produces First U.S.-Made Arrow-3 Anti-Ballistic Missile Canister

On Sept. 5, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced that the United States will now be producing its Arrow-3 anti-ballistic missile canisters. The canisters will be manufactured by IAI subsidiary Stark Aerospace Inc., in Columbus, M.S. They recently celebrated the first delivery of the “Made in Mississippi” Arrow-3 Anti-Ballistic Missile canister to IAI, an event which was attended by the governor and several members of the Mississippi congressional delegation. “We are pleased to mark this event with our partners at Stark that symbolizes the full cooperation between Israel and the U.S.,” said IAI Systems Executive Vice President Boaz Levy.

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Israel’s RADA Announces $3.5M in Orders for U.S. Military Customer

Israel-based RADA Electronic Industries announced on Sept. 3 that it had received orders worth $3.5 million “from an existing customer which is a leading U.S. military force.” The orders were for RADA’s MHR-based counter-UAV surveillance solutions, along with a first order for its advanced eCHR radar, which evolved from RADA’s Compact Hemispheric Radar (CHR). “We are seeing strong and growing momentum in the U.S. market, centered around counter-drone (C-UAV) and very short-range air defense (VSHORAD) demand. Our advanced, software-defined and multi-mission eCHR radar, ordered at this stage for C-UAV use, introduces improved performance for active protection systems (APS) for combat vehicles as well. We see excellent potential to become a common solution for a wide variety of protection missions for the maneuver force,” said RADA CEO Dov Sella.

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Type: Defense Digest