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14 février 2012 2 14 /02 /février /2012 08:05
Israel's spending cuts hits defense sector

 

TEL AVIV, Israel, Feb. 13 (UPI)

 

Israel's military says major cuts in defense spending will hit air-defense missile systems being developed by Israel Aerospace Industries and others and halt production of the Merkava Mark 4 tank and the new Namer armored personnel carrier.

 

Israeli Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz last week ordered commanders to prepare for what The Jerusalem Post calls "a near-shutdown of the military in two months" because of cutbacks demanded by the Finance Ministry.

 

The Globes business daily said 700 career officers and senior non-commissioned officers in all service branches will be sacked over the next few months because of the cutbacks of an initial $800 million for fiscal 2012, with more expected.

 

"A number of strategic projects will be harmed," the Post quoted a senior officer as saying.

 

"We're canceling all kinds of exercises, from division-level down to battalion level," said another who attended Gantz's meeting of the top brass, from colonel on up.

 

"We won't be able to call up reserves and even when we hold exercises we'll be limited in the amount of live ammunition we can use."

 

The Post has also reported that the army "has decided to suspend all future orders of the new Merkava tanks and Namer APCs."

 

The 65-ton Merkava, which entered service in 1978, is designed by the Merkava Tank Office and assembled by the Israel Ordnance Corps.

 

Among the key contractors involved in production are Elta, which supplies electronic sensors and infra-red optics; Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, which makes the Trophy active protection systems to counter rockets and missiles; and El-Op an Elisa, the optics and laser warning system.

 

The Namer, in which the U.S. Army has shown interest, is based on the Merkava Mark 4 chassis and is intended as the Israel army's main fighting vehicle. The decision to develop the new APC, which is said to have improved reinforced steel protection, was made after the 2006 war with Hezbollah in which Israeli armor took heavy losses from anti-tank missiles.

 

All told, orders for components from 200 Israeli companies will be canceled.

 

Other strategic projects that are being affected are the Iron Dome missile-defense system designed by Rafael to intercept short-range missiles and artillery rounds.

 

The development of the David's Sling system, designed to shoot down medium-range missiles, and the Arrow-3 missile which is intended to target ballistic missiles outside Earth's atmosphere, are also likely to be affected.

 

David's sling is being built by Rafael. The long-range Arrow is being developed by state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, flagship of Israel's defense sector.

 

The United States, which has paid half of the $3 billion cost of developing the Arrow system, agreed in 2011 to fork up $235 million for Arrow-3 and David's Sling development.

 

But the Israelis say 1.3-ton Arrow-3, the country's main defense against Iranian Shehab-3 intermediate-range ballistic missiles, will need $3.9 billion for the Arrow program over the next few years.

 

Gantz and Defense Ministry Director General Udi Shani are to meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in the coming weeks in a bid to secure additional funds to allow the military to implement its new five-year procurement plan.

 

That plan is undergoing major changes these days.

 

The Post reported that it "was supposed to continue the upgrade of recent years to the military's ground forces and at the same time improve its strategic capabilities with the procurement of additional F-35 stealth fighter jets and also lead to a boost in Israel's cyberwarfare capabilities."

 

In October 2010, Israel ordered an initial batch of 20 of F-35s from Lockheed Martin at a cost of $2.75 billion.

 

Given development problems and hefty cost over-runs, Israel may not take delivery of the first F-35s until 2017, two years later than anticipated.

 

Ultimately, Israel wants 75 of the fifth-generation fighters to maintain its long-held aerial superiority in the Middle East.

 

But with the budget cutbacks on top of Lockheed Martin's troubles, the air force has been examining the alternative of buying second-hand Boeing F-15s from the U.S. Air Force to fill the gap.

 

The five-year plan was formulated on the premise that Israel would have to fight a multi-front war sometime in the next few years and one in which the planned four-tier missile-defense shield would be a vital component.

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13 février 2012 1 13 /02 /février /2012 08:30
IMI’s MPR 500 Warhead Approved for use with JDAM

Photo: IMI

 

February 12, 2012 Tamir Eshel – Defense Update

 

Israel Military Industries Ltd. announced today that the Boeing Company [NYSE:BA] has approved IMI’s 500-pound Multi Purpose Rigid (MPR 500) Bomb as compatible with their Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) guidance kit.

 

The combination of IMI’s MPR 500 with Boeing’s JDAM guidance kit substantially enhances operational flexibility while reducing total ownership costs. With increased penetrating power and reduced collateral damage fragmentation, the MPR 500 was designed to defeat targets more commonly found in today’s fighting areana. By delivering IMI’s focused munition with Boeing’s reliable history of precision guidance, the MPR 500 JDAM system is ideal for gardened targets in dense urban areas or in close proximity to friendly troops.

 

Photo: IMI

 

IMI’s MPR 500 is a combat-proven 500-poud bomb with improved penetration capabilities and gas the same dimensions as a MK-82.

 

The bomb can penetrate more than one meter of reinforced concrete or punch through four 200mm thick walls or floors.
Because of its 500-pound size, MPR 500 enhances aircraft carriage efficiency, increasing the number of targets that can be engaged per sortie.

 

MPR 500 provides concentrated blast effects, utilizing approximately 26,000 controlled fragments. This reduces collateral damage risk within one hundred meters. By creating a straight penetration path through the target, the MPR 500 virtually eliminates the “J Effect”, in which the bomb’s warhead breaks on impact causing it to explode incorrectly.

 

MPR 500 is being displayed by IMI at the Singapore Airshow.

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9 février 2012 4 09 /02 /février /2012 08:00
Israel Readies Test Of Integrated Air Defense

 

Feb 8, 2012 By David Eshel - defense technology international

 

Tel Aviv - Israeli air force air and missile defenses are to be combined and reorganized to better protect the entire nation. Under this doctrine, defense of Israel’s skies will combine all forces designated to intercept enemy aircraft with all the assets allocated to intercept missiles, regardless of range. The multilayered, active defense will be run by a centralized interception-management center, which will also provide the common air picture that enables aircraft and interceptor missiles to safely coexist.

 

The philosophy of active defense—grouping the air, rocket and missile defense capabilities—underpins the new defensive concept, which also includes early-warning, passive defense and counter-strike capabilities. The air force’s operational structure will be similar to that used for aircraft, with the entire air-defense layout operating according to tasks assigned to units, rather than according to geographic deployment.

 

The new formation of the air-defense command reflects the fact that Israel’s air and missile defense assets must share the sky with fighters, helicopters, transports and unmanned aircraft, and coexist with civilian aviation flying national and international routes. Under old operational concepts, surface-to-air (SAM) sites were assigned “restricted zones” to protect strategic sites during wartime, leaving air force fighters to secure the majority of Israel’s airspace.

 

Now, modern active defenses are called on to maintain constant alert and initiate target engagement at very long distances, with missile trajectories passing safely through “live” airspace. With assets allocated throughout the country and covering extremely long ranges, the air-defense command will be able to better defend Israeli airspace, regardless of where its weapons are deployed.

 

Based on the current inventory of air-defense systems, the new deployment will maintain one air-defense wing and one rocket and missile-defense wing. The air-defense assets currently deployed are the MIM-23 Improved Hawk PIP3 and MIM-104 Patriot, both produced by Raytheon. Tactical air defenses are provided by MIM-92A Stinger missiles deployed on improved M163 mobile air defense guns.

 

The missile-defense wing maintains two principal assets, the Sword Shield unit operating the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Arrow 2 ASIP (improved versions from the Arrow System Improvement Program, or ASIP) since 1998, and the new Iron Dome unit, equipped with three Rafael Iron Dome counter-rocket, artillery and missile (C-RAM) systems.

 

The two systems were developed in Israel to meet specific requirements, distinctive to Israel at the time. The Arrow was designed to intercept Scud-type medium-range ballistic missiles, acquired by Iraq and Syria, while the Iron Dome, operational since 2011, was developed to defend against terrorist rocket attacks.

 

The Arrow 2 is designed to intercept ballistic missiles as they reenter the atmosphere in their terminal phase. Unlike the modern air-defense missiles employing hit-to-kill interceptors, the Arrow 2 introduced an “aimable” warhead to increase hit probability when passing the target at extremely high closing speed. The Arrow 2 ASIP represents the latest evolution of the Arrow system, capable of intercepting faster targets, launched from longer ranges. This capability was demonstrated in February 2011 against a target representing an Iranian Shahab 3 missile.

 

The next step in its evolution is the Arrow 3 exo-atmospheric missile interceptor, currently in development and about to undergo its first test. With a thrust-vectoring kill vehicle designed for hit-to-kill intercept, Arrow 3 will provide the upper tier in Israeli missile defenses, engaging hostile missiles in space, in their midcourse phase. The upper-layer intercept will significantly improve the defensive capability of the integrated system. The missile will be operated with existing Arrow assets, implementing the more flexible “shoot-shoot-look-shoot” intercept strategy over the linear “shoot-look-shoot” strategy currently guiding the Arrow.

 

Another important change will take place in 2013, as the new David’s Sling missile system, in final developmental testing at Rafael, reaches initial operational capability (IOC). Unlike the task-specific Arrow 2 and Iron Dome, David’s Sling was developed as a flexible, multipurpose weapon system capable of engaging aircraft, cruise missiles, ballistic and guided missiles. The interceptor missile is designed for land-based, maritime and airborne applications. A common missile, called Stunner, is fitted with a dual-band imaging infrared and radio-frequency seeker, as well as a multi-pulse rocket motor enabling all-weather operation and powerful kinematics, including endgame maneuverability at extended ranges.

 

David’s Sling will initially deploy with the air force’s air-defense wing, replacing the Hawk missiles. The air force’s is planning to field even more systems, as Patriot systems are phased out, enabling the air-defense command to fully integrate into the airspace defense with the new networked assets.

 

The Stunner missile has been demonstrated in test flights and the current phase will enable the team to expand testing of the entire system under the original development schedule. The system could reach IOC in 2013.

 

The system’s primary role will be to intercept medium- and long-range ballistic and guided rockets, such as the Fajr-5 and M-600, a Syrian copy of the Iranian Fateh-110, carrying half-ton warheads. These threats have a range of about 300 km (185 mi.). Other targets to be taken out by David’s Sling are intermediate-range ballistic missiles such as the Iranian BM-25, and the new Yakhont supersonic cruise missile, recently introduced by Syria.

 

The Yakhont threat would be held at risk by another air defense system developed in Israel—IAI’s Barak 8. The missile is designed to replace the existing Barak 1 point defense missile system deployed on the Israeli Saar 5 corvettes, providing extended networked air-defense protecting naval forces or offshore installations over a large area. Unlike the Arrow and David’s Sling, Barak 8 was developed without U.S. support and was designed primarily for the export market. Conceived mainly as a naval air-defense missile, Barak 8 is the cornerstone of the Indian Medium- and Long-Range SAM (MR-SAM/LR-SAM), a collaborative project undertaken by IAI and the Indian Defense Research & Development Organization (DRDO). The missile’s first flight test was in 2010 and the entire system is scheduled to enter developmental testing in Israel and India early this year. The weapon qualification program will include eight test firings.

 

Elements of the system have been delivered to India for installation on the new Kolkata-class (Project 15A) guided missile destroyers. The Israeli navy is trailing with its Saar 5B modernization plan, lacking a clear decision on the platform, contractor and weapon system. Promoting the system as a potential replacement of the existing Barak 1, IAI has developed a smaller assembly employing electronically scanning radar using a rotating single-plane design.

 

An important asset enabling full integration is the early warning and selective interception capability introduced with Israel’s new missile and C-RAM systems. Versions of the EL/M-2084 multimission target-acquisition radars operated with Iron Dome units, and to be included with future David’s Sling systems, detect and project the impact points of targets as soon as tracks are initiated.

 

Using phased-array technology, these radars support the different defensive layers, including early warning, providing for rapid alert for the civil population. The ability to predict an incoming missile’s impact point minutes before it actually strikes is key to Israel’s ability to deal with the affordability challenge of active defense. Secondly, this capability enables the missile defense units to ignore those rockets that will fall in open areas, focusing their attention and interceptor assets only at those targets posing the highest risk. It also enables the system to engage high-priority targets with more than one missile and at several points along its trajectory, maximizing the probability of interceptions.

 

The Israel air force is planning to deploy a fourth battery of Iron Dome in coming months and is mulling stationing it in Haifa Bay to protect Israel’s industrial hub. The defense ministry has a budget to manufacture an additional three Iron Dome batteries by the end of 2012. IAF operational requirements call for the deployment of about a dozen batteries along Israel’s northern and southern borders. Furthermore, Rafael is also proposing a seeker-less version of Iron Dome called Iron Flame to be used in counter-fire missions, attacking the launch sites of terrorists’ multiple-launch rocket systems.

 

With Iran considered by U.S. and Israeli intelligence to be on its way to obtaining a nuclear weapon, the allies are planning to hold their largest-ever joint exercise aimed at testing their common defense against ballistic missiles. The joint drills, dubbed Juniper Cobra and Austere Challenge, were to take place early this year but now are scheduled to take place in April or May, or possibly later. They will simulate Israel’s ballistic missile defense in action as part of a coalition operation.

 

The U.S. plans to deploy the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) system for the drills. In such a scenario, Thaad could complement the Israeli Arrow missiles with high-altitude capabilities. In its U.S. deployment, Thaad complements the lower-altitude domain of the Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC‑3) antimissile system. The drills also will include the establishment of an Israeli command post at U.S. European Command headquarters in Germany.

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4 février 2012 6 04 /02 /février /2012 17:50
Israel Says Iran Seeking U.S.-range Missile

 

 

Feb 2, 2012 By Jeffrey Heller/Reuters - AviationWeek.com

 

JERUSALEM - Israel said Feb. 2 that Iran had been working on developing a missile capable of striking the U.S. at a military base rocked by a deadly explosion three months ago.

 

The blast on Nov. 12 killed 17 Iranian troops, including an officer regarded as the architect of Iran’s missile defenses. Iran said at the time the explosion at the facility, 45 km (28 miles) from Tehran, was an accident and occurred during research on weapons that could strike Israel.

 

Vice Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon, addressing Israel’s annual Herzliya security conference, challenged the Iranian account that the weapons project was focused on targeting Israel, and implied Iran was seeking to extend its strike range fourfold.

 

He said the base was a research and development facility where Iran “was preparing to produce or develop a missile with a range of 10,000 km (6,000 miles) … aimed at the ‘Great Satan’, the United States of America, and not us”.

 

Yaalon, who is also minister of strategic affairs, gave no other details nor related his remarks to the cause of the explosion.

 

Analysts currently estimate the longest range of an Iranian missile to be about 2,400 km, capable of reaching Israel and Europe. Israeli leaders are keen to persuade any allies who do not share their assessment of the risk posed by Iran that a nuclear-armed Islamic Republic would also threaten the West.

 

Israel has made little comment on accusations by Tehran that its agents along with those of its Western allies are waging a covert war against Iran’s nuclear program.

 

Iran denies Israeli and Western allegations that it is seeking to build atomic weapons, saying it is enriching uranium to generate electricity and for other peaceful purposes.

 

“MILESTONE”

 

In a Nov. 28 report on the explosion at the Iranian base, the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), said it had learned the blast occurred “as Iran had achieved a major milestone in the development of a new missile”. The Washington-based ISIS, founded by nuclear expert David Albright, said Iran was apparently performing a volatile procedure involving a missile engine when the explosion took place.

 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, pressing for stronger international sanctions against Tehran, has said repeatedly that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose a threat not only to Israel but to the United States and Europe as well.

 

Israel is widely believed to be the Middle East’s only nuclear power and to have developed missiles capable of striking Iran. It has said all military options are open in preventing a nuclear-armed Iran.

 

In his address, Yaalon, a former chief of staff of the Israeli military, was dismissive of arguments that underground Iranian nuclear sites may be invulnerable to so-called “bunker-buster” bombs.

 

Speaking in general terms, he said: “From my military experience, human beings will know how to penetrate any installation protected by other human beings. Ultimately all the facilities can be hit.”

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3 février 2012 5 03 /02 /février /2012 12:30
L'aide militaire des Etats-Unis handicape l’industrie israéliene



3 février 2012 - Par Jacques Bendelac - israelvalley.com

L'usine israélienne de bottes Brill menace de licencier si Tsahal passe commande aux Etats-Unis.

Jérusalem - ACHETER ISRAÉLIEN: le débat sur la préférence à l’industrie locale est relancé par le ministère israélien de la Défense qui veut équiper les soldats de Tsahal en bottes “Made in USA”. Malgré les déclarations de bonnes intentions du gouvernement et des députés de la Knesset, favoriser le “Made in Israël” n’est pas si simple, surtout lorsque les Etats-Unis offrent généreusement leur aide, mais avec une condition: la dépenser chez eux, en se fournissant auprès des entreprises américaines.

Une aide liée

Alors que le gouvernement israélien veut inciter les consommateurs à acheter des produits “bleu-blanc”, l’angle industriel de la préférence locale semble plus difficile à réaliser, surtout lorsqu’il s’agit de gros sous. Aujourd’hui, c’est l’aide militaire annuelle que les Etats-Unis fournissent à Israël (3 milliards de dollars) qui est au centre d’une polémique politico-industrielle. Il se trouve que la générosité de l’Oncle Sam a un prix: il s’agit d’une “aide liée”, c’est-à-dire qui doit être dépensée partiellement dans le pays donateur. Pour Washington, la pratique de l’aide liée est un moyen de favoriser les industries locales; ce qui permet aussi de convaincre le contribuable américain que son argent profite bien à l’économie américaine.

Pour le pays bénéficiaire, Israël en l’occurrence, une aide de ce type est plus que problématique: elle oblige à acheter aux Etats-Unis ce que les entreprises locales peuvent produire. Ce n’est pas forcement le meilleur moyen pour favoriser l’emploi et le développement industriel du pays. Car pour acheter israélien, encore faut-il produire israélien et donc passer commande en Israël plutôt qu’à l’étranger.

Menace de licenciements

Dernier exemple en date: le ministère israélien de la Défense a décidé de passer commande de 60.000 paires de bottes auprès des fabricants américains, en les payant à partir de l’aide militaire des Etats-Unis. Jusqu’à présent, Tsahal commandait les bottes de ses soldats auprès du principal fabricant israélien de chaussures, Brill Shoe Industries Ltd, à Rishon LeZion: depuis 2001, Brill était le fournisseur exclusif de bottes à l’armée israélienne. Or des considérations budgétaires vont lui faire perdre ce marché de 30 millions de shekels (5 millions d’euros). Brill menace donc de licencier 100 salariés si le marché de la chaussure militaire lui échappait.

Il y a quelques semaines, les représentants du ministère de la Défense ont décidé de laisser à Brill un tiers des commandes (30.000 chaussures) et d’en transférer les deux tiers (60.000) aux Etats-Unis d’ici à 2013. En début de semaine, les députés ont tenu un débat urgent pour trancher le débat qui oppose Tsahal à Brill; pour l’heure, les fonctionnaires de la Défense ont promis aux députés de reconsidérer leur position.

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17 janvier 2012 2 17 /01 /janvier /2012 13:30
Le Chef d’état-major Benny Gantz va assister à la réunion des Chefs d’état-majors de l’OTAN


17 janvier 2012 Blog Tsahal

Les défis en matière de sécurité seront présentés par le Chef d’état-major Benny Gantz à la réunion du comité militaire de l’OTAN.

Le Chef d’état-major de Tsahal, le Lieutenant-général Benny Gantz, est parti pour Bruxelles aujourd’hui (mardi 17 janvier), dans le cadre de ses fonctions, pour deux jours où il participera à une conférence avec les Chefs d’état-majors des pays membres de l’OTAN. Il assistera à des réunions de travail avec ses homologues du monde entier.

Lors de ces  réunions , le Lieutenant-général Gantz discutera des enjeux en matière de sécurité pour Tsahal et l’État d’Israël, y compris les défis que représentent les menaces régionales. Il sera aussi question de l’importance de la coopération entre Israël et les pays membres de l’OTAN, ainsi qu’entre leurs armées, en matière de lutte contre le terrorisme. Benny Gantz va également prononcer un discours face à ses homologues lors d’une réunion dans le cadre du Dialogue méditerranéen.

Plusieurs officiers israéliens accompagnent le Chef d’état-major dans son déplacement. Il s’agit du Chef du département de la coopération militaire internationale au sein de la branche de planification, le Colonel Hani Caspi, de l’attaché militaire israélien au sein de l’OTAN, le Colonel Uri Halperin ainsi que de l’aide de camp du Chef d’état-major, le Lieutenant-colonel Yaki Dolf.

Pendant son absence, Benny Gantz sera remplacé par son adjoint, le Général de Division Yaïr Naveh.

Le Chef d’état-major Benny Gantz va notamment rencontrer :

    Le Président du comité militaire de l’OTAN, le Général Knud Bartels
    Le Commandant du United States European Command (US EUCOM), l’Amiral James G. Stavridis
    Le Chef d’état-major des Forces armées britannique, le Général Sir David Richards
    Le Chef d’état-major des Forces armées de la Fédération de Russie, le Général Nikolaï Makarov
    Le Chef d’état-major des Forces armées allemandes, le Général Volker Wieker
    Le Chef d’état-major de l’armée française, l’Amiral Édouard Guillaud
    Le Chef d’état-major espagnol, l’Amiral Fernando Garcia Sanchez
    Le Chef d’état-major italien, le Général Biago Abrate
    Le Chef des Forces de défense australienne, le Général David Hurley
    Le Chef d’état-major des Forces armées canadienne, le Général Walt Natynczyk
    Le Chef de la Défense Nationale Grecque, le Général Michalis Kostarakos
    Le Chef d’état-major des Forces armées polonaise, le Général Mieczyslaw Spachowiak

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8 janvier 2012 7 08 /01 /janvier /2012 01:14

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2012/1/6/1325855889968/Iran---naval-war-games-in-007.jpg

 

Iran's navy conducting the Velayat-90 naval war games in the strait of Hormuz on New Year's Day.

Photograph: Mohsen Shandiz/Corbis

6 January 2012     Julian Borger, diplomatic editor - guardian.co.uk

Surge in military activity in the region comes amid threat of EU embargo on Iranian oil and possible closure of strait of Hormuz

Tensions on the oil shipping lanes in the Gulf have escalated with the announcement of new naval exercises by Iran's Revolutionary Guards and news that Israel and the US are planning to carry out extensive joint manoeuvres in the region.

The naval commander for the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, said the drill in February would be "different compared to previous exercises held by the IRGC". The Iranian navy finished 10 days of exercises in the Gulf on Monday, during which it tested a range of new missiles. It warned that Iran could close the strait of Hormuz, the narrowest point in the Gulf, through which a fifth of the world's traded oil passes.

On the same day, the Israeli military said it was preparing for joint exercises with the US to rehearse missile defence and co-operation between the forces. The manoeuvres involve thousands of troops, have been planned for some time and were hailed by Israeli and US officials as their biggest joint drill.

Associated Press quoted an unnamed Israel official as saying the drill would test multiple Israeli and US air defence systems against incoming missiles and rockets in the next few weeks. Israel has developed the Arrow anti-ballistic system, which is designed to intercept Iranian missiles in the stratosphere, with the US.

The military activity in the region comes at a time of high tension. At the end of this month, EU foreign ministers are expected to agree to impose an embargo on Iranian oil imports, after a report in November by the UN's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), confirmed western allegations that Iran had worked on nuclear weapon design.

Iranian officials have made clear they would view an oil embargo as an act of aggression, and could respond by closing the strait. The US and UK have said they would act to keep the shipping lanes open. Philip Hammond, the British defence secretary, said during a visit to Washington: "Disruption to the flow of oil through the strait of Hormuz would threaten regional and global economic growth. Any attempt by Iran to close the strait would be illegal and unsuccessful."

The sabre-rattling over the strait drove the price of crude to more than $100 a barrel. Meanwhile, there is continual speculation that Israel might attack Iran's nuclear programme, which Tehran says is for peaceful purposes, and which the west and Israel allege is a front for acquiring nuclear weapons, or at least a capacity to make them. Observers say all sides are flexing their muscles to deter their adversaries from taking aggressive action, but warn that heightened activity will increase the chances of an unplanned clash.

Mark Fitzpatrick, a former US state department official now at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, said: "I'm not predicting there is going to be a skirmish, but in the absence of established communications, the tensions and the activity raises the possibility of an unintended exchange of fire."

The USS John Stennis, a US aircraft carrier deployed to the region, is outside the Gulf and an Iranian navy commander has warned Washington not to bring it back. The US navy said it would continue to patrol the Gulf as normal.

Fitzpatrick said he did not think Iran would attack shipping through the strait of Hormuz "as it would be an invitation to the US to take wider action and attack its nuclear sites".

Another flashpoint could come in June, when US sanctions on the trade in Iranian oil come into effect. Gary Sick, an Iran expert and former White House policy adviser now at Columbia University, said such measures were "the equivalent of a military blockade of Iran's oil ports, arguably an act of war".

"The main reason why Iran's putative threat to close the strait of Hormuz was dismissed is because Iran also relies on the strait to export its own oil," Sick wrote in his blog. "But if Iran's oil revenue – 50% of its budget – is cut off, they would have little to lose by striking out at those they hold responsible, including passage through the strait of Hormuz.

"Iran cannot defeat the US navy, but the swarms of cruise missiles they could fire, both from shore and from their fleet of speedboats, could create havoc, as could the flood of mines they could put into the fast-moving waters of the strait."

Fitzpatrick said even under sanctions, Iran would still have "multiple markets for its oil", and would therefore still have a lot to lose by closing the strait.

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28 décembre 2011 3 28 /12 /décembre /2011 08:30

http://www.upi.com/story/image/fs/13250044436017/Israel-navy-scraps-warship-plans-amid-cuts.jpg

 

TEL AVIV, Israel, Dec. 27 (UPI)

 

Amid an intense political battle over Israel's defense budget, the navy scrapped plans to buy two next-generation missile ships and the air force is thinking of buying second-hand U.S. Air Force F-15s rather than more expensive new jets.

 

Indeed, the procurement plans for Israel's armed forces have "come to a complete halt," The Jerusalem Post reported, as the government haggles over cuts to the defense budget.

 

The chief protagonists in the escalating battle are Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

 

Steinitz is pushing hard for greater transparency and accountability by the Defense Ministry, which has a free hand to a large extent, certainly more than other ministries.

 

Barak, a former military chief of staff and prime minister, adamantly refuses to surrender any of his ministry's powers and argues that the military cannot be pinned down on spending if it's to defend the Jewish state against its foes.

 

"I'm stubborn," Steinitz told the liberal Haaretz daily. "I don't intend to give up. We're going to pursue justice with no mercy.

 

"I've declared war on Ehud Barak on the issue of transparency and control and it will happen -- if not now, then later through Knesset legislation."

 

The pressure for defense cutbacks stems largely from unprecedented protests across Israel for greater social spending to counter rising prices, housing shortages and unemployment amid a global recession.

 

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's right-wing coalition government was forced to agree to improve conditions swiftly.

 

Since the Defense Ministry gets the lion's share of government funding, it was tapped to initiate major cutbacks, despite growing security threats ranging from Iran's alleged drive for nuclear weapons to the upheavals of the Arab Spring and a growing missile threat.

 

The cutbacks hit the Defense Ministry five-year development and procurement plan, known as the Hamalish Plan, which was scheduled to begin in 2012.

 

This is based on the premise there's a growing possibility Israel will be caught in a multi-front war in the near future. Analysts say that's likely to mean an unprecedented barrage of missiles and rockets on Israeli cities that could be sustained for two months.

 

Critics say the defense budget has been growing since the 2006 war with Lebanon's Hezbollah in which serious shortcomings in Israel's military were exposed. Barak claims defense spending has actually been shrinking, while the military has had to develop defense systems to counter the missile threat.

 

"To convince us that it's impossible to make cuts in the fat and inflated military budget, he's using the familiar method of scaring people," said one commentary in Haaretz.

 

"Barak is simply pulling the wool over our eyes. He doesn't tell us that … five years ago the budget stood at $12.4 billion but in 2012 will reach $14.8 billion, a 22 percent leap."

 

The United States, which provides Israel with $3 billion a year in military aids, provided $205 million in extra funds for Iron Dome in the spring. The Defense Ministry said Sunday Washington will cough up another $235 million for more batteries of Iron Dome, developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

 

But other military systems are being dropped, like the two missile warships the navy wanted to expand its surface fleet. The plan was to buy designs from Germany's Blohm+Voss and build the vessels in Israel for $500 million.

 

That's out, and now the plan's to order two new smaller Sa'ar 4.5-class missile corvettes built in Israel, financing the deal by retiring two older Sa'ar 4 vessels.

 

That's a major setback for plans to enlarge the navy as its operational zones expand into the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea off Iran.

 

In 2010, the air force, which will bear the brunt of any conflict with Iran, ordered 20 Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighters worth $2.75 billion to maintain its long-held supremacy in the air. But delays in the F-35 program mean Israel may not get the jet -- the first of 75 it plans to buy -- until after 2017.

 

It has mulled buying upgraded Boeing F-15 Eagles and Lockheed F-16 Falcons as a stopgap.

 

But even that's likely to be too expensive in the current economic climate. So now the air force is looking at a cheaper alternative.

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25 décembre 2011 7 25 /12 /décembre /2011 21:09
Israël a annulé un contrat sur des systèmes radars à la Turquie (médias)

 

25 décembre 2011 - Armenews.com

 

Le ministère israélien de la Défense a ordonné d’annuler un important contrat de fourniture à la Turquie de systèmes radars équipant des avions, ont indiqué jeudi les médias israéliens.

 

Selon les médias qui citent un responsable du ministère de la Défense ayant requis l’anonymat, le contrat signé en 2009 avec la Turquie par la société israélienne Elbit Systems et les Industries aériennes israéliennes porte sur un montant de 140 millions de dollars (107 millions d’euros).

 

Interrogé par l’AFP sur les raisons de cette annulation, le ministère de la Défense a indiqué qu’il “n’a pas pour habitude de s’expliquer sur ses décisions (...) qui sont prises sur une base professionnelle en vertu de considérations sécuritaires et diplomatiques“.

 

Le journal en ligne Ynet a pour sa part estimé que le ministère de la Défense avait décidé d’annuler ce contrat, de crainte qu’Ankara ne transfère ces équipements ultra-sophistiqués à des tiers qui lui sont hostiles.

 

Selon la première chaîne publique de la télévision israélienne, Israël s’inquiète surtout d’un rapprochement entre la nouvelle hiérarchie militaire à Ankara et l’Iran.

 

Tous les autres contrats d’armes conclus par Israël et la Turquie sont maintenus, a précisé la télévision.

 

Les relations entre Israël et la Turquie, jadis florissantes, y compris dans le domaine de la coopération militaire, se sont considérablement dégradées, notamment après un raid meurtrier israélien contre un ferry turc qui tentait de briser le blocus de Gaza en mai 2010.

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3 décembre 2011 6 03 /12 /décembre /2011 08:00

http://www.flightglobal.com/assets/getAsset.aspx?ItemID=39132

photo Israel Sun/Rex Features

 

TEL AVIV, Israel, Dec. 2 (UPI)

 

The U.S. Army will decide in the next few weeks whether it will buy Israel's Iron Dome anti-rocket defense system, developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, to protect bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

Rafael and the U.S. Raytheon Co., which produces the Patriot air-defense system, teamed in August to market Iron Dome, currently used to defend against Palestinian rockets, in the United States.

 

Iron Dome is designed to counter rockets and artillery shells with a range of 2-43 miles. It's the first system of its type to be used in combat.

 

Yossi Druker, head of Rafael's Air-to-Air Directorate, said Wednesday that the winner of the tender issued by the Pentagon is expected to be announced in January.

 

"Iron Dome is said to be compatible with the U.S. Army's Counter-Rocket and Artillery and Mortar system, or C-RAM, as part of layered defense for military bases," The Jerusalem Post observed.

 

Iron Dome made its combat debut in April in southern Israel against Palestinian rockets and the military says it has notched a success rate of 85 percent against Palestinian rockets it sought to intercept.

 

The system's computer can distinguish which rockets will hit populated areas and those that won't. It only fires on those that endanger Israeli lives.

 

The Israeli air force, which is responsible for air defense, has three Iron Dome batteries operational, primarily in the south to counter short-range rockets fired by militants from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

 

But the military acknowledges that it needs 15-20 Iron Dome batteries to effectively provide protection from short-range missiles and rockets along the northern border with Lebanon and the southern frontier with Gaza.

 

So the Israelis may find themselves on the horns of a dilemma if the Americans decide they want Iron Dome: Who will get priority, homeland defense or developing a potentially lucrative export market for this unique system, the first operational short-range air-defense system in the world?

 

The Israelis say they face missile threats on several fronts, from Syria, Iran, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas and its allies in Gaza.

 

These threats range from intermediate-range ballistic missiles from Iran and Syria, with shorter-range weapons from Hezbollah and the Palestinians.

 

The nightmare scenario is that if a new conflict erupts in the Middle East, every inch of the Jewish state will be exposed to a sustained and unprecedented bombardment by these foes.

 

Military planners say this could last for weeks, with up to 200 missiles and rockets a day hammering Israel, including the massive urban conurbation around Tel Aviv in the center of the country.

 

Every Iron Dome battery will be needed but Israel's defense industry, like those in the United States and Europe, is increasingly dependent on export sales to keep production lines rolling amid global cutbacks in defense spending.

 

Singapore has reportedly bought Iron Dome, although no details are available and the Israeli Defense Ministry hasn't confirmed the sale. India and South Korea have also shown interest.

 

The air force expects to take delivery of David's Sling, another anti-missile system developed by Rafael, within the next year, Brig. Gen. Doron Gavish, commander of the air force's Air Defense Division, said Thursday.

 

This system, also known as Magic Wand, is designed as the middle-tier of Israel's planned multilayer missile defense shield. It's designed to counter missiles and rockets with ranges of 25-185 miles.

 

Meantime, The Jerusalem Post reports that state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries is building a third battery of the Arrow-2 high-altitude, long-range missile interceptor to be deployed near Tel Aviv.

 

The Israeli air force has two Arrow batteries deployed in southern and northern Israel. The system is designed to counter Iran's Shehab-3b, Sejjil-2 and Soviet-designed Scud ballistic missiles. Syria also has Scuds.

 

Central Israel was chosen for the site of the new battery "because it provides the best protection for long-range threats which Israel faces from a number of directions," a military spokesman said.

 

IAI and Boeing in the United States are developing the Arrow-3, which will extend the range and altitude of the missile, which allows it to intercept ballistic missiles earlier in their trajectory and further from Israel.

 

The Arrow-3's first fly-out test is scheduled within the next few months. The United States contributed the bulk of the funds to develop the Arrow system.

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23 novembre 2011 3 23 /11 /novembre /2011 08:00

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/13/Middle_east.jpg/509px-Middle_east.jpg

 

22 November 2011 by Stratfor: George Friedman - defenseWeb

 

U.S. troops are in the process of completing their withdrawal from Iraq by the end-of-2011 deadline. We are now moving toward a reckoning with the consequences. The reckoning concerns the potential for a massive shift in the balance of power in the region, with Iran moving from a fairly marginal power to potentially a dominant power.

 

As the process unfolds, the United States and Israel are making countermoves. We have discussed all of this extensively. Questions remain whether these countermoves will stabilize the region and whether or how far Iran will go in its response.

 

Iran has been preparing for the U.S. withdrawal. While it is unreasonable simply to say that Iran will dominate Iraq, it is fair to say Tehran will have tremendous influence in Baghdad to the point of being able to block Iraqi initiatives Iran opposes. This influence will increase as the U.S. withdrawal concludes and it becomes clear there will be no sudden reversal in the withdrawal policy. Iraqi politicians’ calculus must account for the nearness of Iranian power and the increasing distance and irrelevance of American power.

 

Resisting Iran under these conditions likely would prove ineffective and dangerous. Some, like the Kurds, believe they have guarantees from the Americans and that substantial investment in Kurdish oil by American companies means those commitments will be honored. A look at the map, however, shows how difficult it would be for the United States to do so. The Baghdad regime has arrested Sunni leaders while the Shia, not all of whom are pro-Iranian by any means, know the price of overenthusiastic resistance.

 

Syria and Iran

 

The situation in Syria complicates all of this. The minority Alawite sect has dominated the Syrian government since 1970, when the current president’s father — who headed the Syrian air force — staged a coup. The Alawites are a heterodox Muslim sect related to a Shiite offshoot and make up about 7 percent of the country’s population, which is mostly Sunni. The new Alawite government was Nasserite in nature, meaning it was secular, socialist and built around the military. When Islam rose as a political force in the Arab world, the Syrians — alienated from the Sadat regime in Egypt — saw Iran as a bulwark. The Iranian Islamist regime gave the Syrian secular regime immunity against Shiite fundamentalists in Lebanon. The Iranians also gave Syria support in its external adventures in Lebanon, and more important, in its suppression of Syria’s Sunni majority.

 

Syria and Iran were particularly aligned in Lebanon. In the early 1980s, after the Khomeini revolution, the Iranians sought to increase their influence in the Islamic world by supporting radical Shiite forces. Hezbollah was one of these. Syria had invaded Lebanon in 1975 on behalf of the Christians and opposed the Palestine Liberation Organization, to give you a sense of the complexity. Syria regarded Lebanon as historically part of Syria, and sought to assert its influence over it. Via Iran, Hezbollah became an instrument of Syrian power in Lebanon.

 

Iran and Syria, therefore, entered a long-term if not altogether stable alliance that has lasted to this day. In the current unrest in Syria, the Saudis and Turks in addition to the Americans all have been hostile to the regime of President Bashar al Assad. Iran is the one country that on the whole has remained supportive of the current Syrian government.

 

There is good reason for this. Prior to the uprising, the precise relationship between Syria and Iran was variable. Syria was able to act autonomously in its dealings with Iran and Iran’s proxies in Lebanon. While an important backer of groups like Hezbollah, the al Assad regime in many ways checked Hezbollah’s power in Lebanon, with the Syrians playing the dominant role there. The Syrian uprising has put the al Assad regime on the defensive, however, making it more interested in a firm, stable relationship with Iran. Damascus finds itself isolated in the Sunni world, with Turkey and the Arab League against it. Iran — and intriguingly, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki — have constituted al Assad’s exterior support.

 

Thus far al Assad has resisted his enemies. Though some mid- to low-ranking Sunnis have defected, his military remains largely intact; this is because the Alawites control key units. Events in Libya drove home to an embattled Syrian leadership — and even to some of its adversaries within the military — the consequences of losing. The military has held together, and an unarmed or poorly armed populace, no matter how large, cannot defeat an intact military force. The key for those who would see al Assad fall is to divide the military.

 

If al Assad survives — and at the moment, wishful thinking by outsiders aside, he is surviving — Iran will be the big winner. If Iraq falls under substantial Iranian influence, and the al Assad regime — isolated from most countries but supported by Tehran — survives in Syria, then Iran could emerge with a sphere of influence stretching from western Afghanistan to the Mediterranean (the latter via Hezbollah). Achieving this would not require deploying Iranian conventional forces — al Assad’s survival alone would suffice. However, the prospect of a Syrian regime beholden to Iran would open up the possibility of the westward deployment of Iranian forces, and that possibility alone would have significant repercussions.

 

Consider the map were this sphere of influence to exist. The northern borders of Saudi Arabia and Jordan would abut this sphere, as would Turkey’s southern border. It remains unclear, of course, just how well Iran could manage this sphere, e.g., what type of force it could project into it. Maps alone will not provide an understanding of the problem. But they do point to the problem. And the problem is the potential — not certain — creation of a block under Iranian influence that would cut through a huge swath of strategic territory.

 

It should be remembered that in addition to Iran’s covert network of militant proxies, Iran’s conventional forces are substantial. While they could not confront U.S. armored divisions and survive, there are no U.S. armored divisions on the ground between Iran and Lebanon. Iran’s ability to bring sufficient force to bear in such a sphere increases the risks to the Saudis in particular. Iran’s goal is to increase the risk such that Saudi Arabia would calculate that accommodation is more prudent than resistance. Changing the map can help achieve this.

 

It follows that those frightened by this prospect — the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey — would seek to stymie it. At present, the place to block it no longer is Iraq, where Iran already has the upper hand. Instead, it is Syria. And the key move in Syria is to do everything possible to bring about al Assad’s overthrow.

 

In the last week, the Syrian unrest appeared to take on a new dimension. Until recently, the most significant opposition activity appeared to be outside of Syria, with much of the resistance reported in the media coming from externally based opposition groups. The degree of effective opposition was never clear. Certainly, the Sunni majority opposes and hates the al Assad regime. But opposition and emotion do not bring down a regime consisting of men fighting for their lives. And it wasn’t clear that the resistance was as strong as the outside propaganda claimed.

 

Last week, however, the Free Syrian Army — a group of Sunni defectors operating out of Turkey and Lebanon — claimed defectors carried out organized attacks on government facilities, ranging from an air force intelligence facility (a particularly sensitive point given the history of the regime) to Baath Party buildings in the greater Damascus area. These were not the first attacks claimed by the FSA, but they were heavily propagandized in the past week. Most significant about the attacks is that, while small-scale and likely exaggerated, they revealed that at least some defectors were willing to fight instead of defecting and staying in Turkey or Lebanon.

 

It is interesting that an apparent increase in activity from armed activists — or the introduction of new forces — occurred at the same time relations between Iran on one side and the United States and Israel on the other were deteriorating. The deterioration began with charges that an Iranian covert operation to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States had been uncovered, followed by allegations by the Bahraini government of Iranian operatives organizing attacks in Bahrain. It proceeded to an International Atomic Energy Agency report on Iran’s progress toward a nuclear device, followed by the Nov. 19 explosion at an Iranian missile facility that the Israelis have not-so-quietly hinted was their work. Whether any of these are true, the psychological pressure on Iran is building and appears to be orchestrated.

 

Of all the players in this game, Israel’s position is the most complex. Israel has had a decent, albeit covert, working relationship with the Syrians going back to their mutual hostility toward Yasser Arafat. For Israel, Syria has been the devil they know. The idea of a Sunni government controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood on their northeastern frontier was frightening; they preferred al Assad. But given the shift in the regional balance of power, the Israeli view is also changing. The Sunni Islamist threat has weakened in the past decade relative to the Iranian Shiite threat. Playing things forward, the threat of a hostile Sunni force in Syria is less worrisome than an emboldened Iranian presence on Israel’s northern frontier. This explains why the architects of Israel’s foreign policy, such as Defense Minister Ehud Barak, have been saying that we are seeing an “acceleration toward the end of the regime.” Regardless of its preferred outcome, Israel cannot influence events inside Syria. Instead, Israel is adjusting to a reality where the threat of Iran reshaping the politics of the region has become paramount.

 

Iran is, of course, used to psychological campaigns. We continue to believe that while Iran might be close to a nuclear device that could explode underground under carefully controlled conditions, its ability to create a stable, robust nuclear weapon that could function outside a laboratory setting (which is what an underground test is) is a ways off. This includes being able to load a fragile experimental system on a delivery vehicle and expecting it to explode. It might. It might not. It might even be intercepted and create a casus belli for a counterstrike.

 

The main Iranian threat is not nuclear. It might become so, but even without nuclear weapons, Iran remains a threat. The current escalation originated in the American decision to withdraw from Iraq and was intensified by events in Syria. If Iran abandoned its nuclear program tomorrow, the situation would remain as complex. Iran has the upper hand, and the United States, Israel, Turkey and Saudi Arabia all are looking at how to turn the tables.

 

At this point, they appear to be following a two-pronged strategy: Increase pressure on Iran to make it recalculate its vulnerability, and bring down the Syrian government to limit the consequences of Iranian influence in Iraq. Whether the Syrian regime can be brought down is problematic. Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi would have survived if NATO hadn’t intervened. NATO could intervene in Syria, but Syria is more complex than Libya. Moreover, a second NATO attack on an Arab state designed to change its government would have unintended consequences, no matter how much the Arabs fear the Iranians at the moment. Wars are unpredictable; they are not the first option.

 

Therefore the likely solution is covert support for the Sunni opposition funneled through Lebanon and possibly Turkey and Jordan. It will be interesting to see if the Turks participate. Far more interesting will be seeing whether this works. Syrian intelligence has penetrated its Sunni opposition effectively for decades. Mounting a secret campaign against the regime would be difficult, and its success by no means assured. Still, that is the next move.

 

But it is not the last move. To put Iran back into its box, something must be done about the Iraqi political situation. Given the U.S. withdrawal, Washington has little influence there. All of the relationships the United States built were predicated on American power protecting the relationships. With the Americans gone, the foundation of those relationships dissolves. And even with Syria, the balance of power is shifting.

 

The United States has three choices. Accept the evolution and try to live with what emerges. Attempt to make a deal with Iran — a very painful and costly one. Or go to war. The first assumes Washington can live with what emerges. The second depends on whether Iran is interested in dealing with the United States. The third depends on having enough power to wage a war and to absorb Iran’s retaliatory strikes, particularly in the Strait of Hormuz. All are dubious, so toppling al Assad is critical. It changes the game and the momentum. But even that is enormously difficult and laden with risks.

 

We are now in the final act of Iraq, and it is even more painful than imagined. Laying this alongside the European crisis makes the idea of a systemic crisis in the global system very real.

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21 novembre 2011 1 21 /11 /novembre /2011 12:35

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/82/Flag_of_Honduras.svg/800px-Flag_of_Honduras.svg.png

 

21 novembre 2011 par M.P. - IsraelValley

 

Le Honduras s’est tourné vers Israël et les Etats-Unis en vue de moderniser l’équipement de ses forces armées, lequel n’a pas évolué depuis le début des années 1980. « Nous allons obtenir des armements de plusieurs pays proches, et avons été autorisés à acheter des armes israéliennes », a déclaré le général René Osorio, chef d’état-major des forces honduriennes, qui comptent seulement 11.000 hommes.

 

Les importations israéliennes se composeront essentiellement de fusils-mitrailleurs de type Galil et Tavor-21, actuellement utilisés par les troupes d’infanterie de Tsahal. Ces armes légères doivent servir à la lutte contre la criminalité et les cartels de la drogue. « Nous communiquerons ultérieurement les détails de l’accord », a précisé le général Osorio.

 

Cette annonce intervient après que des tensions politiques aient éclaté entre Israël et le Honduras. En juin dernier, le gouvernement de Tegucigalpa s’était prononcé en faveur de la reconnaissance de la Palestine à l’ONU, alors qu’il s’était engagé à ne pas le faire. Jérusalem avait alors rappelé son ambassadeur Elyahou Lopez.

 

Dans les années 1970, le Honduras a été l’un des tout premiers clients de l’industrie militaire israélienne en Amérique centrale. Plusieurs radars de fabrication israélienne assuraient alors la défense des bases aériennes honduriennes. –

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16 octobre 2011 7 16 /10 /octobre /2011 17:30

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3c/Arrow_system.jpg

source United States Missile Defense Agency

 

16 octobre 2011 Par Maxime Perez - israelvalley.com

 

Combien de temps faut-il à un missile pakistanais pour frapper l’Inde ? Un peu plus de soixante secondes pour atteindre Bombay, capitale économique, trois minutes pour New Delhi et environ huit minutes pour Bangalore, situé dans le sud du pays.

 

Située dans l’Etat du Karnataka, Bangalore – qui signifie la « ville des haricots bouillis » dans l’idiome locale – abrite la Silicon Valley indienne. Fondé en 1909 par le philanthrope Tata, l’Indian Institute of Science est devenu l’un des centres de recherche asiatiques les plus réputés.

 

Nouvelles technologies et production de logiciels informatiques, biochimie, aérospatiale font partie des domaines développés dans cette cité où sont aujourd’hui installées des unités de recherche et développement et de nombreuses industries de défense.

 

Les entreprises indiennes y sous-traitent avec des firmes occidentales en côtoyant les bureaux délocalisés de multinationales (Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, IBM, etc.), attirées par le faible coût d’une main-d’œuvre indienne hautement qualifiée.

 

A l’évidence, Bangalore constitue un site stratégique. Sauf que jusqu’ici, il ne bénéficiait d’aucune mesure de protection particulière. Désormais, un bouclier antimissile extrêmement polyvalent est en passe de protéger la zone contre toute attaque de missile pakistanais.

 

Fort de son savoir-faire en la matière et de ses liens privilégiés avec l’Inde, Israël a pris une part très importante dans le déploiement de ce dispositif. Deux systèmes antimissiles ont ainsi été intégrés au bouclier indien : le Arrow (« flèche ») et le Barak-8 (« foudre »). Ils sont appuyés par le puissant radar « Pin vert », lui aussi de fabrication israélienne. Après avoir subi de nouvelles modifications, son balayage tridimensionnel s’effectue sur un rayon de 1000 kilomètres.

 

Conçu par Rafael et l’IAI, le Barak-8 est missile mer-air, capable d’intercepter toute sorte de projectible dans un rayon de 70 kilomètres : drones, avions de chasse et roquettes. Depuis 2005, il est opérationnel dans la marine indienne.

 

Fruit d’un programme entamé dans les années 80, le système Arrow (connu sous l’appellation « Hetz » en hébreu) en est aujourd’hui à sa troisième phase de développement. C’est néanmoins le Arrow 2 qui équipe actuellement l’armée de l’air indienne.

 

Le missile est en mesure de contrer simultanément 14 missiles dans un rayon de 50 à 90 kilomètres. Il est commandé au sol par un centre de gestion réseau-centrique (baptisé « citron doré »), véritablement unique au monde. Le missile intercepteur utilise un détonateur de proximité à guidage terminal pour détruire des cibles situées à 40 kilomètres d’altitude.

 

Inde-Israël : des partenaires de premier plan

 

Au début des années 90, l’Inde a développé une étroite coopération militaire et sécuritaire avec l’Etat hébreu, tournant ainsi la page sur des décennies de méfiance mutuelle. Abandonnant sa position de pays non aligné au moment de la chute du bloc de l’Est, New Delhi a rapidement fait appel à l’armée israélienne pour solutionner ses problèmes avec le Pakistan, notamment au Cachemire en matière de lutte anti-terroriste.

 

Depuis mars 2009, Israël constitue désormais le premier fournisseur d’armes de l’Inde devant la Russie. Le dernier contrat d’armements signé entre New Delhi et Jérusalem a rapporté 1,5 milliard de dollars à l’IAI. Il s’agit de la vente du système de défense antimissile « Barak 8».

 

En une quinzaine d’années, Israël a ainsi fourni à l’Inde pour près de 9 milliards de dollars d’équipements militaires. Depuis des attentats de Bombay en novembre 2008, le gouvernement indien ne rencontre plus la même opposition de la part d’une frange de sa population musulmane et des parties de gauche qui sont habituellement opposés à un rapprochement stratégique avec l’Etat hébreu.

 

Récemment, des projets israélo-indiens ont été lancés dans le domaine de la surveillance navale et aérienne. En août 2008, le développement d’une version améliorée du système de missiles sol-air Spyder d’IAI et Rafael a été approuvé par le ministère indien de la Défense.

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14 septembre 2011 3 14 /09 /septembre /2011 16:30

http://www.jpost.com/HttpHandlers/ShowImage.ashx?ID=143623

photo by IMI - source jpost.com

 

14 septembre 2011 Guysen International News

 

Les Industries militaires israéliennes ont testé avec succès, mercredi, dans le sud du pays, le nouveau missile "Javelot magique", rapporte le site IsraelDefense. Le missile "Javelot magique" a une portée de 40 kilomètres, une précision au mètre près et peut porter des têtes de toute nature. Il est prévu pour la destruction de cibles ennemies sensibles comme un poste de commandement ou des batteries de missiles.

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21 juin 2011 2 21 /06 /juin /2011 20:40
IAI Heron UAS Has Reached Full Operational Capability

 

Jun 21, 2011 ASDNews Source : Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd.

 

The German Air Force recently announced that the "Heron", Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)' advanced unmanned aerial system (UAS), has achieved full operational capability (FOC) under its activities in Afghanistan.

 

It's a significant milestone for the program, where IAI provided its Heron UAV system, together with its partner Rheinmetall Defence, to the Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces). The program included full in-theatre logistical and maintenance services performed by Rheinmetall.

 

The aerial platforms supplied, are equipped with IAI's stabilized day/night electro-optical, SAR payloads and Satellite Communications (SATCOM). Within five months of the signing of the contract, Heron was already deployed in the Afghan skies.

 

The Heron MALE (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) UAS, is an interim solution, yet decisively enhances the Bundeswehr's important real- time intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance (ISR) capabilities in their missions in Afghanistan. Heron is the first unmanned aerial system (UAS) ever to operate under the aegis of the GAF.

 

To date, the SAATEG interim solution has flown over 4,000 hours in Afghanistan, representing an average of twenty hours a day. At the end of May, the German Air Force declared the Heron squadron based in Mazar-e-Sharif to be fully operational.

 

Given its positive experience with the system, the Bundeswehr opted to extend the original one-year service contract for a further two years.

 

Furthermore, the German Air Force is reviewing ways of enhancing its performance.

 

In response to the Bundeswehr's requirement for a follow-on solution for SAATEG in the near term IAI and Rheinmetall plan to participate in the tender and offer IAI's Heron TP (turbo prop) strategic UAS. An advanced version of the Heron, the Heron TP is ready to go into operation right away. Heron TP was successfully inducted into the Israeli Air Force in February 2010.

 

To a large extent, the system will be modified and produced in Germany, meaning that it will make a major contribution to national know-how in this field.

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7 juin 2011 2 07 /06 /juin /2011 17:10

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/df/SPYDER.jpg/800px-SPYDER.jpg

TEL AVIV, Israel, June 6 (UPI)

Israel's High-Tech Industry Association has signed a memorandum of understanding with its Indian counterpart to boost cooperation in advanced technology, a move that will undoubtedly increase the Jewish state's burgeoning defense sales to India.

The Jerusalem Post reports that industry executives see the accord with the Confederation of Indian Industry, signed June 1, leading to a convergence of "Israel's innovative prowess with India's huge and talented pool of human resources."

Trade between Israel and India -- one Jewish, one Hindu, both locked in conflict with Islamist terror groups -- hit $47 billion in 2010, with India moving into second place among the Jewish state's export markets.

That didn't include defense sales on more than $1 billion annually. India is engaged in a top-to-bottom upgrade and expansion of its armed forces.

This includes massive spending on combat aircraft and building up naval forces to project Indian power across the Indian Ocean, a vital energy and trade route between the Middle East and Asia.

"Increased arms spending has created a natural market for Israeli military technology such as unmanned aerial vehicles and airborne early warning radar systems," the Post said.

In recent years, Israel has consolidated defense links with India into a strategic relationship.

On April 20, 2009, India launched its 650-pound RISAT-2 satellite, built by state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries and carrying the same multi-spectral aperture radar as the Tecstar-1 satellite developed for Israel's military.

The Indians, with Israeli help, fast-tracked vital surveillance systems in the wake of the attack by Islamic extremists on Mumbai, India's commercial hub, in November 2008 in which 166 people were killed, five of them Israelis.

In January 2009, India took delivery of the first of three Phalcon all-weather AWACS, also built by IAI, the flagship of Israel's defense industry, under a $1.1 billion deal. The radar system, produced by Israel's Elta Industries, is built around the Russian-built Ilyushin Il-76 aircraft. Delivery was advanced by two months following the carnage in Mumbai.

The Phalcons made India the first state in South Asia to have advanced multi-sensor AWACs capable of providing tactical surveillance or multiple airborne and surface targets and able to gather signals intelligence.

As part of the Phalcon deal, the Israelis disclosed they would establish five factories in India to produce artillery shells, a project reportedly worth $250 million.

Ties like this will likely deepen through the high-tech accord because of an Indian requirement that local components account for 30 percent of any contract.

Israeli firms generally focus on developing cutting-edge software and worldwide exports in 2010 totaled around $29 billion.

Given the fast-growing markets emerging in India and China, the high-tech accord is tailor-made for Israel's export-heavy economy. The two countries are already discussing an agreement to remove trade barriers.

The Israelis are focusing on the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, home of the fast-growing software center at Hyderabad.

It is close to signing an agreement with Matimop of Israel, a government agency that facilitates multinational research and development projects.

Andhra Pradesh is becoming a high-tech industries powerhouse, with software exports of $8 billion in 2010.

Missiles are a key Israel-India connection, and that requires intensive high-tech cooperation.

In 2008, India signed a $4.1 billion deal to purchase a shore-based and seaborne anti-missile air-defense system based on Israel's Barak long-range naval weapon built by IAI.

In August that year, New Delhi signed a $2.5 billion contract with IAI and Israel's Rafael armaments company to jointly develop an advanced version of the Spyder surface-to-air missile.

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6 juin 2011 1 06 /06 /juin /2011 06:00

http://www.trdefence.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/gaza-underground-tunnel-300x200.jpg

 

Jun 5 2011 DefenseNews TRDEFENCE

 

The Israeli Army has developed a new tool in its seemingly Sisyphean struggle against the hundreds of underground tunnels used for smuggling weapons from Sinai into Gaza, or as subterranean staging grounds for cross-border strikes into Israel.

 

A collaborative effort between the Army’s special technology division and EMI, a local explosive materials manufacturer, the system – known here as Emulsion – injects into the ground a blend of commercial-grade liquid explosives, each of which remains nonsensitive to mishandling or even improvised bomb attack until blended and deployed.

 

“It’s all automatic, carries minimal risk to troops and creates maximum, irreparable damage to the tunnels,” said Maj. Isam Abu Tarif, director of the special technology division of Israel’s Ground Forces Command.

 

Abu Tarif said the recently completed prototype is actually a second-generation system, following less efficient versions deployed in Gaza in the last seven or eight years. The newest Emulsion-2 prototype is self-navigating and programmed for precision deployment of explosive materials and optimum penetration of the destructive mixture.

 

“Earlier versions didn’t provide optimum destruction, allowing the enemy to dig around the destroyed section,” Abu Tarif said. “With this second-generation system, they’re better off digging a new tunnel.”

 

First reported in the latest editions of B’yabasha (On the Ground), the official Hebrew-language journal of Israel’s Ground Forces Command, the latest Emulsion prototype is mounted on eight-wheeled armored trucks. Future versions will be smaller, tailored for more challenging operational conditions and designed to be towed into high-threat areas by tank.

 

Deployment of the latest prototype has allowed the Army to amend its doctrine for more effective, force-protective anti-tunnel combat, Abu Tarif said.

 

“Under our old doctrine, our forces had to endanger themselves while transporting the explosive materials to the target,” he said. “Then they had to physically get into the tunnel to perform the mission. … And there were cases where soldiers died en route or inside the tunnels.

 

“But now, the two substances are housed separately and are impervious to accidental or enemy-initiated detonation,” he said. “Emulsion-2 is designed to withstand [a rocket-propelled grenade] attack. And once we neutralize the threat on approach, automation takes over with the injection of materials for optimum effect.”

 

Finally, Abu Tarif said the Emulsion-2 carries “a huge quantity” of two-component explosive material, allowing specialty units to destroy multiple tunnels in a single deployment to high-threat areas.

 

“Before, we were limited to the amount of explosives carried in an [armored personnel carrier], but now the carrying capacity is safe and unlimited … and the effect of the liquid explosive blend creates a chain reaction that extends well beyond the target penetration area,” he said.

Overwhelming Threat

 

Security sources here estimate a network of many hundreds of tunnels of varying levels of sophistication have been built between Gaza and Egypt. While most tunnels are built to sustain Egypt’s thriving smuggling industry for appliances, vehicles, livestock and other commercial goods into Gaza, an alarming number are used to deliver primarily Iranian-supplied missiles, anti-tank rockets, other weaponry and even military instructors into the strip via Sinai.

 

Another category of tunnels – some nearly a kilometer in length – are built for commando strikes and kidnapping attempts on Israel’s side of the Gaza border. Security sources here peg the number of so-called terror tunnels built to support subterranean combat operations against Israel in the dozens.

 

In Israel’s Cast Lead incursion into Gaza in late December 2008, the Air Force destroyed 40 smuggling tunnels in the first two days of the 22-day campaign. Since then, the Israeli military claims to have destroyed or heavily damaged 190 tunnels, 150 of them smuggling routes along the Gaza-Egyptian corridor.

 

Military sources here said another 40 tunnels destroyed in recent years were built to support infiltration operations similar to Hamas’ successful June 2006 attack on an Israeli tank. Two Israeli soldiers were killed in that strategically important strike, while one – Pvt. Gilad Shalit – remains in captivity. Shalit’s plight has traumatized the Israeli public and taunted a string of successive political and military leaders who have failed to secure his release.

 

“Combating terror tunnels is a top priority,” said Capt. Barak Raz, an Israeli military spokesman. “The orders are maximum readiness to defend our citizens and soldiers from kidnapping attempts and deny the enemy any opportunity for another strategic achievement.”

 

Avi Dichter, an Israeli lawmaker and former director of the Shin Bet security service, said Egypt’s decision to open its Rafah border crossing with Gaza will not erode the need for persistent and coordinated military and intelligence anti-tunnel operations.

 

The late May opening of Egypt’s border crossing with Gaza and its 1.5 million residents is a reversal of deposed President Hosni Mubarak’s policy of isolating and neutralizing the militant, Islamist Hamas authority in the Strip. And while Israel must remain watchful of those exiting and re-entering Gaza via Egypt, Dichter said more than 90 percent of illicit smuggling will continue to be conducted via underground tunnels.

 

“As much as we lament the passing of the Mubarak era, we have to admit that he could have done a hell of a lot more to blunt the arms smuggling industry,” Dichter told a seminar of Israeli military officers May 26.

 

“For that matter, when we had control of Philadelphi [the corridor linking Sinai to the southern part of Gaza], we, too, missed a lot of activity,” he said. “Bottom line, the tunnel threat is an eternal mission requiring very close cooperation between security forces and all branches of the Israel Defense Forces.”

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24 mars 2011 4 24 /03 /mars /2011 13:46
L’industrie aérospatiale israélienne et Elbit prêts à collaborer sur un nouveau modèle d’avion d’entrainement. Le T-50 sud-coréen et le M-346 italien toujours à l’étude

 

24 mars 2011

 

Rivaux de longue date, notamment pour des contrats d’armements à l’étranger, I’industrie aéronautique israélienne (IAI) et Elbit Systems pourraient s’associer en vue de l’acquisition et du maintien d’un avion d’entrainement destiné aux futurs pilotes de chasse de l’armée israélienne. Ce dernier devrait être choisi dans les prochains mois afin de remplacer les vieux Skyhawks A-4, aujourd’hui inadaptés à l’évolution des technologies aériennes et rangés dans les hangars de Tsahal. Ces appareils, utilisés d’abord par l’US Navy au Viêt-Nam, connurent leur heure de gloire au moment de la guerre de Kippour en 1973. D’après le quotidien économique Globes, Elbit Systems, spécialisé dans les équipements électroniques à usage militaire, et IAI, fleuron de l’industrie de défense israélienne, pourraient très rapidement créer une joint venture. Dans les faits, la société serait financée par l’aviation de Tsahal qui louerait les appareils achetés par Elbit et IAI dans le cadre des programmes de formation de ses cadets. L’alliance Elbit-IAI a déjà été approuvée par Ronit Khan, directrice des autorités antitrust israéliennes. Elle intervient dans un contexte agité pour l’industrie militaire israélienne, alors que se murmure toujours une possible fusion entre IMI (Israel Military Industries), en proie à des difficultés économiques, et le puissant missilier Rafael. De son coté, Elbit Systems a annoncé en février avoir racheté 30% des actions d’Elisra, une société dont IAI est l’actionnaire majoritaire.

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