US developing stronger military ties with Israel

A model of the SkyStriker drone by Israel's Elbit Systems, dubbed 'the suicide drone' (Facebook)

Middle East Monitor  /  June 22, 2020

Cooperation between the United States and Israel on developing defence technology is increasing in order to “establish a US-Israel Operations-Technology Working Group”.

The “United States-Israel Military Capability Act of 2020” was introduced last month by US members of the Senate Armed Services Committee Senators Gary Peters and Tom Cottonboth.

This bipartisan legislation would require the establishment of a US-Israel operations-technology working group to enhance collaboration on the research and development of technology used for national defence.

As the senators wrote in a letter in February to Secretary of Defence Mark Esper, the working group would help ensure US “warfighters never encounter a more technologically advanced foe.”

According to the US Embassy, this is the “enduring and unshakable commitment” America has to Israel’s security and a bond between the American people and Israel.

The US and Israel already cooperate extensively on security matters. Israel’s big three defence companies, Elbit Systems, IAI and Rafael, have numerous cooperative projects with America.

Elbit Systems, a company which sells weapons to the Israeli military used in attacks on Palestinians, will be supplying a missile warning system to F-16 fighter jets belonging to the US Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command.

The company was also awarded a $73.4 million, 15-year contract from the US Marine Corps in March 2015 to supply them with new laser systems.

According to an official Pentagon contracting announcement, the Air Force has already set aside a little more than $17 million to buy these systems, but the complete contract, which covers work to February 2030 at the earliest, could be worth just over $471.6 million.

Last year, the Israeli government revealed the main points of the plan to increase the volume of Israel’s defence exports for the first time, reported Globes.