Arms Race I: Israel looking to counter ramping threats
Procurement Race is on
Billions worth of High-Tech weaponry pouring into the Mideast.
With the Jihad heating up and being fueled by Iran & Syria, there has been a non stop flow of advanced weaponry into the Middle East. A number of significant weapons platforms have begun to arrive to the axis courtesy of Russia, with even more on the way. In response to this & other growing threats the US itself has this past week concluded a 10 year military aid package renewal with Israel, as well as made commitments to regional Arab states to the tune of over 53 billion dollars in funds spread across Egypt, Saudi Arabia & other smaller Gulf States. Here’s a quick look at some of the weapons Israel is eyeing and some still in the pipeline.
The Jewish State embroiled in a Terrorist war with Hamas, fresh from war with Hezbollah and facing a mounting threat from Iran & Syria has begun finalizing the task of taking stock, to prepare for the new regional threats. With a new Defense Minister in place, the military has allocated the bulk of this week to making major decisions on procurement goals and funding levels for weapon systems in the coming years. Barak has already made clear he sees major deficiencies in the IDF current readiness.
Among the weapons being considered and or developed, missile defense is a top priority.
- The Trophy system as mentioned this week is starting deployment.
- On top of the current Arrow2 & Patriot2 ballistic missile shield systems, Israel is considering upgrading Patriots to PAC-3s, the latest most advanced American version. Equally, Arrow2 development & improvements are ongoing, the Arrow having been upgraded just this year.
In addition to the larger long range ballistic shield above, Israel is currently developing & considering a number of short range interception systems to counter the types of threats posed by Hezbollah, Hamas & Islamic Jihad.
- The Nautilus / THEL is being pushed by Northrop as a current alternative while those weapons platforms are readied, they are still at least 2-3 years out. Selected from a number of submitted platforms, Raphael’s ‘Iron Dome’ project is currently vying for funding.
Also being considered are upgrades to Israel’s air power.
- Decisions on future contracts for the F-35 JSF fighter, and longing looks at the prohibitively expensive F-22 Raptor are competing this week with funding priorities regarding ground forces. Israel is still flush with the brand new F-16I Sufa, and the long range F-15I Thunder, both custom Israeli variants of the latest most advanced US F-16/F-15 versions.
- Other air assets on the list include a chunk of new C-130H Hercules transports, or possibly an order for the latest J Model or SuperHercules, which has been thoroughly modernized for US military use.
These are some of the more major platforms under development or in consideration for Israel. Of course the country is a world leader in military tech and there is a lot going on technology wise to counter insurgencies & terrorists, especially at the Urban Combat level. Israel’s enemies are not standing still, in part II tomorrow the advanced Russian weapons being funneled to Iran, Syria & their associated terrorist groups over massive US / Israel objections.
UPDATE AUG 23: Israel green lights Patriot / PAC3 upgrade
The Israeli Air Force will buy advanced US-made Patriot PAC-3 missiles from Lockheed Martin, capable of intercepting aircraft and long-range ballistic missiles, including the type used by Syria. The IAF is currently using the PAC-2 system, manufactured by Lockheed Martin. In the new system, each launcher is equipped with 16 missiles instead of four; each missile weighs 320 kilograms and is 5 meters in length. The advanced PAC-3 system is capable of intercepting aircraft, rockets and cruise missiles.
The decision to acquire the new system was based on the progress made by Syria and Iran in the field of fighter jets, and on the fact the Syrian army has recently obtained longer-range missiles. [...]
UPDATE AUG 24: Arrow redeployment in Northern areas to counter mounting Syrian threat.
JPOST: Predicting that Israel’s future wars will be characterized by unprecedented missile barrages, the IDF has decided to modify its missile defense doctrine and has changed its deployment of the Arrow missile in northern Israel, The Jerusalem Post has learned. [...]
Ahead of a possible conflict with Syria and Iran, the Air Defense Forces are also conducting an increased number of joint exercises with the United States Armed Forces, in an effort to increase coordination between the two countries and to prepare for the possibility that Washington will send US missile defense systems to Israel if and when they are needed.
The Defense Ministry recently submitted a request to the Pentagon to receive information on two American-made missile defense systems – the Terminal High Altitude Air Defense (THAAD) and the Aegis.
The idea, a top officer explained, was to prepare infrastructure for the possibility that the American systems would be purchased by Israel or be deployed here during the time of war. In March, US Army officers from the European Command (EUCOM) were in Israel for the Juniper Cobra exercise, held every two years, during which Israel and the US run missile defense simulations.
“Our objective is to create the infrastructure and ensure that the Arrow will be interoperable with other systems,” the officer explained, adding that this objective took up a large portion of the Air Defense Forces’ training time. [...]
See the 2nd part of this post Arms Race II: From Russia with Love for details on the growing threat from advanced Russian arms in the hands of Iran & Syria.