The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is beginning work on a new multiyear modernization road map that takes into account an influx of $38 billion in US-promised grant aid from 2019 through 2028, the military’s top planner said on Monday. Addressing an annual conference here of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), Maj. Gen. Amikam […]
The Israeli Air Force declared initial operational capability on Wednesday of the Arrow-3 intercepting system, the nation’s newest, upper-tier layer of a multi-tiered defense network against ballistic missiles. The Arrow-3 interceptor, part of the joint US-Israel Arrow Weapon System (AWS), was delivered into Air Force hands in ceremonies today attended by MoD developers and defense […]
The Israeli Navy is expanding cooperation with the US Navy and other NATO maritime services and eventually aims to restore professional ties with Turkey after more than six years of estrangement, an Israeli officer said Thursday. “Maybe in the future, we’ll be able to see here Turkish ships in Haifa port for mutual exercises as […]
More specifics about congressional restrictions on US military aid for Israel have emerged with the State Department release of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) governing the bilateral pact signed nearly four months ago. Details of the $38 billion deal, which covers fiscal years 2019 to 2028, provide context to a fact sheet released by the […]
High-resolution imagery released on Thursday confirms what Moscow-watchers and intelligence analysts have known since March of last year: the deployment of Russian nuclear-capable ballistic missiles in Syria. Captured on Dec 28 by the Israeli-built Eros B satellite, the spy-quality images were posted Jan. 5 on the website of ImageSat International (iSi), a subsidiary of Israel […]
The Israeli Navy has reinforced its Eliat-based Squadron 915 with Super Dvora MK 1 fast patrol boats to help secure the country’s short coastline on the Gulf of Aqaba. Lieutenant Colonel Oren Nehbas, commander of the navy’s Red Sea Arena, told IHS Jane’s that before the arrival of the Super Dvora MK I boats, Squadron […]
While war will continue to rage in much of the region writ large, Israeli military forecasts for 2017 are cautiously optimistic that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) may get through the year that began Sunday without having to wage major combat operations. “The probability for war in 2017, generally speaking, is low,” a senior defense […]
The Israeli Air Force (IAF) has retired its early model Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft following the completion of deliveries of the Alenia M-346 Master advanced jet trainer and the arrival of the first of its Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters (JSFs). The last of the IAF’s approximately 90 F-16A/B […]
Defense officials are looking into acquiring hundreds of missiles and precision rockets that could destroy targets during a confrontation with forces inside Lebanon. The focus of their interest is a pair of developments – IMI Systems’ Extra rocket and Israel Aerospace Industries’ LORA surface-to-surface missile. The Artillery Corps currently uses the Romach artillery rocket system, […]
The US government is refuting Israeli assessments that US-supplied troop carriers to Lebanon have made their way to Hezbollah forces operating in Syria on behalf of the Bashar Assad regime. The State Department and the Pentagon insist that Hezbollah-flagged vehicles in question – photographed last month in the Syrian city of Qusayr – did not […]
The timing and phasing of recent U.S. arms deals in the Middle East underscore the complicated balance for the United States of addressing the concerns and needs of multiple partners in the region who frequently view each other with suspicion. The White House approved the sale of fighter aircraft to Qatar and Kuwait in late […]
The United States and Israel signed a new 10-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today, capping almost a year of negotiations for a new security assistance agreement. The military aid package, which will begin in 2019, is the largest to any nation in U.S. history, totaling $38 billion over the next decade. The current 10-year MOU […]
Over the last three years of the Syrian Civil War, Hezbollah has increasingly operated as a regular army rather than in its traditional, decades-long role as a guerrilla force. The Shiite group has operated Syrian tanks and artillery, jeeps with recoilless rifles, and is even rumored to have acquired its own 75-tank armored brigade. As […]
Russian forces in Syria have fired upon Israel Air Force (IAF) aircraft on at least two different occasions, the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported last week. Officials in Moscow unsurprisingly dismissed the report, but the possibility of Russian-Israeli clashes over Syria is actually more plausible than it may seem. The skies above Syria are crowded, […]
Precision guided munitions (PGMs) encompass a growing range of bombs and missiles designed to destroy targets on land, at sea, or in the air. While platforms like fighters, armored vehicles, and warships often receive more attention, their lethality is almost negligible if not bolstered by advanced munitions. With minor updates, today’s PGMs allow even older […]
As the Syrian Civil War rages, Israel has conducted a number of sporadic strikes inside the war-torn country. These strikes are to enforce Israel’s so-called “red line” in Syria, which includes transfers of sophisticated weapon systems to Hezbollah in Lebanon and threats along its border. View the full screen map here.
Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi released an audio message this weekend threatening Israel with a devastating attack. The message was Baghdadi’s most direct warning yet against the Jewish state, but one that will not have come as a surprise in Jerusalem. Israel deems the group’s branch in Egypt’s neighboring Sinai Peninsula its most effective […]
Since Congress first mandated military aid to Israel in 1971, the United States has provided the country nearly $100 billion in assistance. In 2008, Washington’s commitment to ensure Israel’s qualitative military edge (QME) over its regional adversaries was formally written into U.S. law. That close military cooperation is set to intensify following last week’s visit […]
In a September 2 letter to Congress, Secretary of State John Kerry insisted that Washington would ensure Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge (QME) in the wake of the Iran nuclear deal. The letter highlighted items the Obama administration has provided Israel, including the delivery of Jerusalem’s first F-35 stealth fighters slated for next year. But expectations […]
The sudden appearance of Russian forces in Syria in recent weeks is raising concerns about inadvertent conflicts with the U.S.-led coalition. But while much of the spotlight may be on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s bid to prop up the Assad regime and the escalating diplomatic tensions with Washington, Russia’s gambit presents a challenge for another […]
S.2943 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 – Passed both Houses of Congress on December 8, 2016. Within the law several sections authorize military assistance to Israel, including:
- SEC. 1250. UNITED STATES-ISRAEL DIRECTED ENERGY COOPERATION.(a) Authority To Establish Directed Energy Capabilities Program With Israel.—(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary of Defense, upon the request of the Ministry of Defense of Israel, and with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, may carry out research, development, test, and evaluation activities, on a joint basis with Israel, to establish directed energy capabilities to detect and defeat ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, mortars, and improvised explosive devices that threaten the United States, deployed forces of the United States, or Israel. Any activities carried out pursuant to such authority shall be conducted in a manner that appropriately protects sensitive information and the national security interests of the United States and Israel. Continue reading “S.2943 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017” »
S.1356 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 – Signed into law on November 5, 2015. Within the law several sections authorize military assistance to Israel, including:
- (Sec. 1279) Authorizes DOD to carry out research, development, test, and evaluation jointly with Israel to establish anti-tunnel capabilities to detect, map, and neutralize underground tunnels that threaten the United States or Israel. Requires DOD, prior to carrying out the activities, to submit a report and certification to Congress regarding a memorandum of agreement between the United States and Israel addressing the sharing of costs, a framework for negotiating the rights to intellectual property developed, and reports on expenditures. Authorizes DOD to provide procurement, maintenance, and sustainment assistance to Israel in support of the anti-tunnel capabilities research, development, test, and evaluation activities authorized in this section if Israel matches the contribution. Requires DOD to designate a research and development entity of a military department as the lead agency in carrying out this section.
- (Sec. 1678) Authorizes appropriations to be provided to Israel for the Iron Dome short-range rocket defense system. Requires the funds to be subject to the “Agreement Between the Department of Defense of the United States of America and the Ministry of Defense of the State of Israel Concerning Iron Dome Defense System Procurement.” Requires DOD to submit to Congress prior to obligating funds: (1) a certification that the Agreement is being successfully implemented, and (2) an assessment of risks relating to the implementation of the Agreement.
- (Sec. 1679) Authorizes appropriations for procurement and coproduction of the Israeli David’s Sling Weapons System and the Arrow 3 Upper Tier missile defense system, subject to specified terms and conditions.
H.R. 1649, Partnering to Detect and Defeat Tunnels Act – The bill is designed to authorize the Secretary of Defense to enter into partnerships with Israel and other U.S. allies to develop technology to detect tunnels and for other purposes. The Secretary of Defense, coordinating with the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security, would be permitted to enter into an agreement with Israel to partner and coordinate in developing and deploying technologies to detect and counter tunnels, including by:
- Carrying out research, development, testing, and evaluation activities with respect to tunnel detection technologies
- Carrying out operational testing of such technologies in both the United States and Israel.
- Designating a military department or other DOD element as the lead federal agency for developing technology to detect and counter tunnels.
- Having the Director of National Intelligence designate a senior intelligence officer to manage collection and analysis of intelligence regarding the tactical use of tunnels by state and non-state actors.
- Having the Secretary of Defense submit a congressional report detailing instances of tunnels being used to attack the U.S. or allied installations, trends or developments in tunnel attacks throughout the world, technologies used, U.S. capabilities and plans to counter tactics.
- Authorizing $5 million for research, development, test and evaluation, $8 million for research, development, test and evaluation in the DOD for the physical security program of the Combatting Terrorism Technical Support Office and $10 million for the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Fund for FY 2016.
S.2673-The United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014-Expresses the sense of Congress that Israel is a major U.S. strategic partner. The law clarifies U.S. policy and calls for the U.S. government to take several considerable actions to bolster Israel’s qualitative military advantage:
- Offer certain obsolete or surplus Department of Defense items to Israel.
- Carry out U.S.-Israel cooperative activities and to provide assistance for cooperation in the fields of energy, water, agriculture, and alternative fuel technologies.
- Share and exchange with Israel research, technology, intelligence, information, equipment, and personnel that will advance U.S. national security interests
- Enhance U.S.-Israel scientific cooperation.
- Enter into cooperative research pilot programs with Israel to enhance Israel’s capabilities in border, maritime, and aviation security; explosives detection; and emergency services.
- Provide Israel with defense articles and defense services, including missile and joint missile defense capabilities including Iron Dome, security and intelligence cooperation, and an expanded role for Israel with the NATO.
- Require certification that a sale or export of major defense equipment to a country in the Middle East will not adversely affect Israel’s qualitative military edge.
- Extend through September 30, 2024, the grant program to support U.S.-Israel research, development, and commercialization of renewable energy or energy efficiency.
S.2673, The United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014, was signed into law on September 18, 2014.
H.R. 938 -The U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act, declares that Israel is a major strategic partner of the United States and was introduced on March 4, 2013.
- Amends the Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012 to extend authority to: (1) make additions to foreign-based defense stockpiles, and (2) transfer certain obsolete or surplus Department of Defense (DOD) items to Israel.
- Authorizes the President to carry out U.S.-Israel cooperative activities and to provide assistance for cooperation in the fields of energy, water, homeland security, agriculture, and alternative fuel technologies.
- Amends the the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to extend the grant program for U.S.-Israeli cooperation on research, development, and commercialization of renewable energy or energy efficiency.
- Expresses the sense of Congress that the United States and Israel should increase cyber-security cooperation.
- Urges the President to provide assistance for enhancement of the David’s Sling Weapon System, the joint United States-Israel Arrow Weapon System, and the Iron Dome short-range rocket defense system.
H.CON.RES. 30, recognizing the 65th anniversary of the independence of the State of Israel, was introduced on April 10, 2013. This resolution confirms America’s unwavering support for the Jewish State of Israel. The resolution praises the two nations’ strengthening relations on matters of defense, diplomacy, homeland security, and technology. In reaffirming the United States’ commitment to ensuring Israel maintains its qualitative military edge, the resolution also emphasizes the United States’ “unequivocal, enduring, and bipartisan support for the alliance and friendship between the United States and Israel.”
H.R. 1130, the Iron Dome Support Act, was introduced on March 13, 2013. This bill commends Israel’s use of the Iron Dome to avert escalating tension in the Middle East, as well as its high success rate. The bill acknowledges that the State of Israel remains under constant threat from missiles, rockets, and mortar shells from Hamas and Hezbollah.
This legislation will explicitly include Hamas and Hezbollah as non-state actors threatening Israel’s qualitative military edge. As a result:
“The United States remains committed to Israel’s qualitative military edge, including its advantage over non-state actors such as Hezbollah and Hamas, which boast increasingly sophisticated and powerful weapons as a result of support from Iran, Syria, and other state actors.”
The Iron Dome Support Act commends Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile defense system’s impressive success rate in preventing massive Israeli civilian casualties, while also recognizing the system’s role in averting an escalation of Israeli operations during Operation Pillar of Defense. This bill, with Congressional and Senate approval, will affirm:
“The President, acting through the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State, is authorized to provide assistance, upon request by the Government of Israel, for the procurement, maintenance, enhancement, and sustainment of the Iron Dome defense system for purposes of intercepting short-range and medium-range rockets, missiles, and projectiles launched against Israel.”
H.R. 4310, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, was made a law in early 2012. This law, following a recent Israel-Hamas conflict, further expressed the United States’ support for Israel attaining additional Iron Dome batteries. Consequentially, the legislation “urges the Department of Defense and the Department of State to explore with their Israeli counterparts and alert Congress of any requirements the Israeli Defense Force may have for additional Iron Dome batteries, interceptors, or other equipment.”
H.R. 4310, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, was signed into law on January 1, 2013
S. 2165, the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012, was the pronouncement of a deep understanding between the two countries mutual security and stability concerns. Israel is the United States’ most significant security partner and America’s most valuable ally in the Middle East. Israel’s military strength and central geo-strategic location provide a strong deterrent against Iran, Syria and other radical forces opposed to the United States. As such, the legislation reaffirms the enduring commitment of the United States to Israel’s inherent right to self-defense by encouraging further cooperation between the two countries on matters of homeland security, missile defense, intelligence, and cyber-security.
On political and diplomatic issues, this law confirms America’s unwavering commitment to Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. As Section 3 of the law clarifies, it is the policy of the United States to veto any one-sided anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations Security Council while encouraging Israel’s neighbors to recognize Israel’s inherent right to exist as a Jewish States. The United States government will also encourage further development of advanced technology programs between the two countries, and concurrently assist Israel in advancing a peaceful negotiated settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In support of this policy, the legislation further clarified U.S. policy and called for the U.S. government to take several considerable actions to bolster Israel’s qualitative military advantage:
- Provide Israel support as necessary to increase development and production of joint missile defense systems
- Provide assistance specifically for the production and procurement of the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system
- Provide Israel with improved defense services, including air refueling tankers, missile defense capabilities and specialized munitions
- Allocate additional weaponry and munitions for the forward-deployed United States stockpile in Israel
- Provide additional surplus defense articles in relation to the United States’ withdrawal from Iraq
- Offer additional training and exercise opportunities for the Israeli Air Force
- Expand Israel’s authority to make purchases under the Foreign Military Financing program.
- Encourage an expanded role for Israel in NATO, politically and militarily
- Expand intelligence sharing and cooperation between the two countries
- Assess how to improve the cost-efficiency and purchasing process for Israel’s procurement of F-35 aircraft.
S. 2165, the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012, was signed into law on July 27, 2012
S. 3847, the Security Cooperation Act of 2010, authorized the expedition of congressional reviews of defense exports to Israel. Following the amendment to the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2751 et seq.) in H.R. 7177, S. 3847 amended the Arms Export Control Act to include Israel in each provision relating to expedited arms sales. This law certified that Israel’s military purchases would be expedited in similar fashion as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, any member country of such Organization, Japan, Australia, the Republic of Korea, and New Zealand.
S. 3847, the Security Cooperation Act of 2010, was signed into law on September 27, 2010