Israel

Israel achieved independence in 1948 and was almost immediately forced to defend itself as neighboring Arab states launched a war to destroy the nascent country. The country faced additional threats in the decades that followed, most notably the Six Day War in 1967 and the Yom Kippur War in 1973. More recently, Israel has contended with Palestinian intifadas (uprisings), particularly the second intifada of 2000-2005, which was marked by suicide bombing campaigns and other acts of terror. The country has also been involved in recent wars with Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Israel’s primary strategic concern as of 2013 was Iran’s nuclear program, although military planners have also been forced to deal with rocket threats from Hezbollah and Hamas, and the rise of jihadi groups in Syria and Egypt. Israel, as of 2013, was engaged in diplomatic negotiations with the Palestinian Authority to reach a lasting agreement to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

  • Population
    7,821,850
  • Fit for Service
    2,963,642
  • GDP
    $240.9 Billion
  • Military EXHD
    5.4% of GDP

Raytheon Awarded $12 Million to Provide Engineering Services to Israeli Patriot Missiles

Raytheon, Andover, Massachusetts, was awarded an $11,951,853 modification (P00001) to foreign military sales (Israel) contract W31P4Q-17-C-0073 for engineering services for the PATRIOT weapon system. Work will be performed in Andover, Massachusetts; Billerica, Massachusetts; Burlington, Massachusetts; El Segundo, California; El Paso, Texas; Huntsville, Alabama; Indianapolis, Indiana; Tewksbury, Massachusetts; and White Sands, New Mexico, with an estimated […]

State Department Approves $440 Million Sale of 76mm Naval Guns to Israel

The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Israel for 76mm Naval Gun and Technical Support. The estimated cost is $440 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on April 26, 2017. The Government of Israel has requested a possible […]

Lockheed Martin Awarded $11 Million to Procure Components for Israeli F-35 Production

Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $10,800,000 modification to a previously awarded advanced acquisition contract (N00019-16-C-0033) for additional hardware modules and racks in support of the F-35 low-rate initial production Lot 11 aircraft for the government of Israel under the Foreign Military Sales program.  Work will be […]

Israeli Navy Gets Final Super Dvora MK III

The Israeli Navy received the last of three Super Dvora MK III fast patrol boats on 27 April. Built by Israel Aerospace Industries Ramta, the boats are the latest C variant, meaning they have improved communications equipment, the latest weapons systems, an upgraded machine room, and more space for the crew, the Israel Defense Forces […]

After Damascus Blasts, Israel Intercepts ‘Target’ From Syria

Syria’s military said Israel struck a military installation southwest of Damascus International Airport before dawn Thursday, setting off a series of explosions and raising tensions further between the two neighbors. Apparently seeking to interrupt weapons transfers to the Hezbollah group in Lebanon, Israel has struck inside Syria with increasing frequency in recent weeks, making the […]

Israel Welcomes Latest Trio of F-35s

Three additional Lockheed Martin F-35s landed at Nevatim air base in Israel on 23 April, taking the number of fifth-generation fighters to arrive in the nation to five. An initial pair of the conventional take-off and landing type touched down at the same site on 12 December 2016. The Israeli air force’s “Golden Eagle” squadron […]

Mattis Highlights U.S. Commitment to Israel’s Security

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis today met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem, where the secretary highlighted America’s strong bilateral ties with Israel and its commitment to Israel’s security. The United States wants to make its relationship with Israel “the strongest ever,” said Mattis, who added the U.S. intends to work with allies in the […]

Raytheon Awarded $79 Million to Provide AIM-9X Missile Sustainment to Israel, Kuwait, Others

Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Arizona, is being awarded $78,723,292 for modification P00022 to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N00019-15-D-0028).  This modification provides for support and sustainment of the AIM-9X Sidewinder Block II tactical missiles in support of the Navy,  Air Force and the governments of Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Oman, Malaysia, […]

Israeli Navy Backs Netanyahu’s Submarine Scheme

In a dramatic departure from previous Israeli Navy modernization plans — which prescribed several years of study before determining requirements for its future undersea force — a senior officer now says the service needs three new Dolphin AIP-class submarines “as fast as possible.” The sense of urgency communicated by the officer marked an about-face from plans articulated by a […]

Israel’s Military Wish List

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 […]

Is Israel About to Lose Its Edge in the Air?

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 […]

Russian Forces Shield Hezbollah’s Arms Supply From Israeli Strikes

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 […]

Israel’s Naval Iron Dome: Ideal for Qatar, But A Deal Not Likely

Israel’s state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems unveiled the “C-Dome” system at last week’s Euronaval conference in France. The system, which some are calling “Naval Iron Dome,” will enable sea vessels to knock down threats from the sky, including aircraft and missiles. The system will be particularly useful to Israel as it develops new platforms for […]

Israel’s V-22 Cancellation

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon cancelled a planned purchase of the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, Israel Hayom reported yesterday. The news comes amidst a diplomatic row between the White House and Jerusalem over derisive comments by Obama Administration officials about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. As much as the Osprey cancellation appears to be fallout […]

Countering Gaza’s Mortars

Hours before the latest ceasefire was announced between Hamas and Israel, two Israeli civilians were killed and five others wounded near the Gaza border by Palestinian mortar fire. This followed a mortar attack Friday that killed four year-old Daniel Tragerman in kibbutz Nahal Oz. Though often overlooked because of their limited range and small size, […]

Hamas Infiltration Tunnels

View Gaza Incursion Tunnels in a larger map Since the start of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge on July 17, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) discovered and destroyed 32 tunnels built by the terrorist group Hamas. 14 of those tunnels are reported to have crossed into Israel from the Gaza Strip. Based on press reports and […]

Hamas’s New Commandos

Hamas rocket barrages are reaching deeper into Israel than previous conflicts, but Israel’s military brass is more concerned with the terror group’s newest tactic: commando raids. Hamas released a graphic video Tuesday, in which fighters from the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades are seen carrying out a tunnel-borne assault on Israeli soldiers at a base in Nahal Oz. […]

Gaza Rockets, Iranian Fingerprints

Hamas has fired more than 1,400 rockets into Israel, putting roughly two-thirds of the population in range, since the most recent round of violence erupted last week. Many of the variants can be traced back to the tenacious weapons smuggling efforts of Iran. When Israel’s navy seized weapons aboard the Klos-C on the Red Sea in early March, it appeared Israeli […]

The Syrian “M-302” Rockets Intercepted on the Red Sea

Early Wednesday morning, a special operations unit of the Israeli navy conducted what appears to be a long-planned boarding operation of a Panamanian-flagged ship, the Klos-C, which was transiting the Red Sea en route to Port Sudan. Members of the Shayetet 13 commando unit (Israel’s version of the U.S. Navy’s SEAL teams) seized “numerous advanced […]

S.2943 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Category Name
QME

Active Armaments
On Order
Air Defense Systems 459* (12*)

Aircraft 648* (91*)

Artillery 1,488 (0)

Ground Vehicles 12,131* (611)

Guided Munitions 20,950* (23,200)

Personnel 641,500 (0)

Ships 77* (8)