Confrontation with Hamas in Gaza Unavoidable
As rockets slammed into Jewish towns last Tuesday, Israelis
apprehended that the five months "Hudna" (cease-fire)
with the Islamic group was finally over. In the first rocket
attack it had claimed responsibility for in five months,
Hamas fired 39 Qassam rockets and 79 mortars from the Gaza
Strip aimed at nearby Jewish communities. The attacks occurred
as Israelis nationwide celebrated the country's 59th Independence
Day. Read Col. David Eshel's analysis on this subject and
Straits come into Focus as Gulf Tension Mounts
The waters in the Arabian Gulf (or Persian Gulf), are highly
turbulent these days. The increasing presence of US naval
presence, and continued Iranian defiance of UN pressure
led Iran to raise the level of alert among its armed forces,
in anticipation of a possible attack. While potential nuclear
threat in the future is certainly a serious consideration,
Iran's domination of the strategic straits of Hurmoz is
the imminent threat.
In a first-of-its-kind dual missile defense test yesterday,
Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) cruiser USS Lake Erie
(CG 70) demonstrated simultaneous ship engagements against both
cruise and ballistic missile targets. The interceptors included
an SM-3 Block IA missile, which destroyed a short-range ballistic
missile target in space while an SM-2 Block IIIA engaged a cruise
missile threat at a lower altitude.
The development of RAFAEL's Trophy
Active Protection System has been completed, including integration
of the system into current AFVs as well as the introduction
of reloading systems, positioning the Isaeli active protection
system as the first
system available in the West. Initial systems are expected
to go into new production and currently deployed Merkava tanks
as well as the new Merkava based armored Infantry Fighting Vehicles
(Namer). While the system has been approved for production,
which still awaits funding allocation. After the recent conflict
in Lebanon (July-August 2006), Active Protection Systems
were identified as a critical complement for the protection
of main battle tanks such as the Merkava
Thales is integrating the AESA version of the RBE2 radar on
the Rafale and is planning to start flight testing soon, following
the conclusion of a series of flight tests on Mirage 2000 test-bed
aircraft. Series production start-up is scheduled for late 2010.
The plan addresses a roadmap recently outlined by the French
Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) and the Rafale industry team,
to equip the French Air Force and Navy with Rafale fighters
upgraded with new sensors by 2012.
Planning Systems Incorporated (PSI) has been awarded a new
$10M contract from the US Army’s Natick Soldier Center
for the delivery of Precision
Air-Drop System Mission Planners (JPADS-MP).
These systems are currently being actively used in Afghanistan
and Iraq by the US Air Mobility Command (AMC), the Marine Corps
(USMC) and US Special Forces (SOF) on C-130, C-17 and SOF aircraft.
Ionatron (NASDAQ: IOTN) announced the establishement of a new
organization focused on the development, engineering, production
and support of specialty lasers for military, aerospace, and
security customers. Earlier this week Ionatron was awarded a
$10 million cost-plus, fixed-fee contract from the US Navy for
research, development and demonstration of a transportable laser
equipped vehicle which will demonstrate Ionatron's laser
guided energy effects, and advanced ultra short pulsed laser.
Demonstrations will be completed by April 2009.