Halfway through a 10-year agreement between Washington and Tel Aviv, the U.S. now gives Israel $3.1 billion each year in foreign military funding (FMF), which is about one-fifth of the total Israeli defense budget, according to a recent report by the U.S. Congressional Research Service (CRS) .The FMF total does not include American money spent on joint missile defense projects with Israel, for which $99.8 million has been requested in Fiscal Year 2013.
Late last month Israel Aerospace Industries and Boeing officials gathered to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their partnership developing the Arrow anti-ballistic missile defense system. At the same time, they announced an extension to the partnership, which at present is working on the Arrow 3 two-stage interceptor.
Lockheed Martin announced that the troubled, tri-national, medium extended air defense system (MEADS) underwent its first flight test, at the White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) on November 17.
Lockheed Martin’s Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system successfully undertook a sophisticated “two versus two” trial-firing last month, and the air defense system has just completed a final review regarding the possible sale to the United Arab Emirates, which could be announced imminently.
Saab is marketing a “new generation” version of the RBS 70 short-range surface-to-air missile, which has been in continuous production for nearly 40 years.
Raytheon will market the Rafael Iron Dome mobile air defense system in the U.S., the companies announced. Raytheon and Haifa, Israel-based Rafael Advanced Defense Systems also are teaming to offer ballistic missile defense and target missile systems.
The U.S. Department of State has issued a new report warning that thousands of man-portable air defense systems (Manpads) remain unaccounted for and may be “outside the control of national governments,” posing threats to the commercial aviation industry and military aircraft around the world.
Having been developed in some urgency, Rafael’s Iron Dome dual-mission defense system is now operational, and in April an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) battery proved its worth for the first time when several Grad rockets were intercepted after launch from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel.
The Arrow BMD (ballistic missile defense) system that now protects Israel was co-developed and produced by Boeing and Israeli Aircraft Industries (IAI), but funded mostly by the U.S. MDA. Designed to offer better protection than the Patriot PAC-3, development began in the late 1980s with Israeli industry providing the L-band radar and the command and control system.
The Patriot air defense missile system was designed by Raytheon and first fielded in 1984. Four years later, a missile defense capability was added, mainly through changes to the guidance software. In the 1991 Gulf War, the system had mixed success against Iraqi short-range Scud missiles, and it became clear that its blast-fragmentation warhead was inadequate to the task.