Monday, July 29, 2013

(En) Israel attacked another weapons convoy in Syria

Arab media outlets and websites affiliated with Syrian opposition report on Saturday that Israeli fighter jets bombed a weapons convoy intended to reach Hezbollah • Rebel group's Facebook page claims convoy carried warheads for long-range missiles.

Israel has attacked yet again, according to foreign reports, in Syria. Arab media outlets and websites affiliated with Syrian opposition forces reported on Saturday that Israeli fighter jets seen flying over Quneitra bombed a weapons convoy intended to reach Hezbollah.

It was also reported by Lebanese news outlet El-Nashra that Israeli jets bombed weapons warehouses at Syrian army outposts in the Beqaa Valley in Lebanon.

A Syrian rebel group's Facebook page claimed that the weapons convoy carried warheads for long-range missiles.

Over the past few months foreign reports have attributed several airstrikes inside Syria to Israel, which allegedly targeted and destroyed advanced weaponry slated to be delivered to Hezbollah.

According to these reports, Israel also attacked weapons warehouses in Latakia in northern Syria, where Russian-made land-to-sea Yakhont missiles were allegedly stored.

Friday, July 26, 2013

(Fr) Problème moteur d'un B737 d' El Al à l'approche de Tel Aviv,

Un avion de la compagnie aérienne israélienne El Al a été contraint de demander la présence des services d'urgence lors de son arrivée sur l'aéroport international de Tel Aviv (Israël) suite à un problème moteur au moment de la phase d'approche.

L'avion, un Boeing 737-800, immatriculé 4X-EKF, vol LY382, qui venait d'effectuer la liaison entre l'aéroport international Malpensa de Milan (Italie) et l'aéroport international Ben Gourion de Tel Aviv avec 138 passagers à bord, était en approche, vers 17h00, heure locale, lorsque les pilotes ont signalé avoir des soucis techniques avec l'un des deux moteurs de l'appareil et ont demandé la présence des services d'urgence lors de leur arrivée.

L'avion s'est posé quelques minutes plus tard sans autre incident et il n'y a pas eu de blessés. les véhicules d'intervention ont suivi l'appareil jusqu'aux parkings où les passagers ont été débarqués dans le calme. Les techniciens de la compagnie vont examiner le réacteur afin de déterminer l'origine et les causes de la défaillance.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

(En) Israel to sell old fighter jets

The Defense Ministry is preparing to sell the decommissioned weapons to recover worth hundreds of millions of shekels.

The IDF is shrinking under the defense budget cuts, and it is proposing to sell old fighter jets. Following IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Ganz's decision to disband squadrons and armored divisions, and to decommission two navy ships, SIBAT - Defense Export and Cooperation at the Ministry of Defense is preparing to sell the decommissioned weapons to recover some of the lost funds. The weapons are reportedly worth hundreds of millions of shekels.

Ministry of Defense director of R&D Brig.-Gen. Eitan Eshel said that Minister of Defense Moshe Ya'alon ordered no cut in R&D spending. "This is a strategic decision because this is what will keep the IDF's qualitative edge. R&D is the technology locomotive for Israel's defense industries, which exports 80% of its output, making it possible to continue developing and producing unique weapons systems," he said.

Eshel said that in response to new threats in the Middle East, such as ballistic missiles and the S300 anti-aircraft missile, Israeli R&D was working on unique state-of-the-art capabilities. These include systems to deal with such missiles, some of which were under development, and others which have already become operational. The R&D unit was also considering establishing a cyber administration to accelerate the development of systems which will give Israel a defensive and offensive edge.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

(En) Israel's Lavi reborn as renamed M-346

The Israeli air force is to name its Alenia Aermacchi M-346 advanced jet trainer the 'Lavi', re-using the name previously carried by the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) fighter developed in the 1980s and scrapped because of heavy US opposition.

The first of 30 M-346s is due to be delivered to Israel in 2014, with its arrival expected to transform the air force's fast jet training system.
Currently Israeli fighter pilots undergo the advanced stage of their flight course using the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk and Lockheed Martin F-16A/B. Following the introduction of the new type, students will instead fly the M-346 Lavi, which will be operated by the "Flying Dragon" squadron at the air force academy at Hazerim air base.

The Italian-built type will allow pilots to train in the operation of radar and advanced weapon systems, with the use of simulator technology to enable "team flying" to be performed on the ground. The new Lavi will also carry some Israeli systems that will make it more "responsive" to the operational needs of the service, says an air force source.

IAI was forced to pull the plug on developing the Lavi fighter in 1987, after having flown two prototypes of the fourth-generation design.

Monday, July 1, 2013

(En) Israel gets sixth Iron Dome, awaits David's Sling

As the Middle East descends deeper into conflict, Israel's military is set to deploy its sixth Iron Dome counter-rocket battery, produced by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, and is preparing to take delivery of the first unit of David's Sling, another Rafael anti-missile system.

The new Iron Dome battery, intended to shoot down short-range missiles like the Soviet-designed Grads used by Lebanon's Hezbollah and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, has been upgraded and its range extended. That means the system, the only combat-tested weapon in the multilayered anti-missile shield Israel is building, can intercept hostile rockets earlier in their trajectory and minimize damage and casualties.

Iron Dome, heavily funded by the United States, became operational in early 2011.

The fifth and sixth batteries received by the air force, which has control of all air defenses, are improved versions of a system that currently has a kill rate of around 85 percent of those rockets it engages. The sixth battery is expected to be deployed within two months, and could be delivered as early as July.

The Jerusalem Post reported that two further batteries could be deployed by January 2014.

Military planners have said they need 20 Iron Dome batteries to cover all of Israel, although the new-model systems, which can cover wider areas than the earlier variants and intercept multiple targets coming from different directions, may mean that fewer batteries will be required.

Israel's Defense Ministry, hit by budgetary cuts, has had to turn to Washington for funds to buy the batteries, which cost more than $50 million apiece.

The Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency included $220 million in its annual budget in March for Israel to buy more Iron Dome batteries in fiscal 2014. That was the first time the MDA had specifically sought funds for Iron Dome, underlining the U.S. Defense Department's commitment to maintain military aid for Israel, outside the $3.1 billion it gets every year, despite major cuts in U.S. defense spending.

The U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee approved a $284 million funding increase June 6 for Israel's anti-missile shield, including an additional $15 million for the Iron Dome program.

The United States provided $205 million in 2011 for the Israeli air force to buy the first four Iron Dome batteries.

Iron Dome is the bottom tier of the four-level anti-missile shield the Israelis call "Homa," the wall, which will protect the tiny Mediterranean state against the short-range Grads, the longer range Iranian-built Zelzals and Fateh-110s possess by Hezbollah and Iran's strategic Shehab-3 intermediate–range ballistic missiles -- with more advanced Sejjil-2 weapons in the pipeline -- and Syria's Scud-D weapons.

David's Sling, being developed by Rafael and the Raytheon Co. of the United States, was unveiled at the Paris Air Show this month. Until then, all that Israelis been seen of it was a brief video of a secret test in the Negev Desert of southern Israel in November 2012.

Also known as Magic Wand, David's Sling is designed to intercept medium-range missiles at a range of 100 miles.

It's the next layer in the shield above Iron Dome and underwent its first test-flight in February. It's scheduled to become operational in 2014. Each missile costs $1 million.

After that comes Arrow-2, developed by state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries. The $1 billion program was heavily financed by the Americans. Two Arrow-2 batteries are known to have been deployed to intercept ballistic missiles at high altitude and long range.

A more advanced variant, Arrow-3, is currently being developed by IAI and the Boeing Co. of the United States. It will be more powerful, capable of intercepting missiles at altitudes of 70 miles or more outside Earth's atmosphere earlier in their trajectories than Arrow-2.

The primary function of the road-mobile David's Sling system in Israel's current threat environment is to counter the medium-range missiles like the Fateh-100s that Hezbollah now has in considerable numbers north of Israel and which can reach pretty much anywhere inside the Jewish state, including all its cities and major towns.

David's Sling will be able to backstop the two Arrow variants against ballistic and cruise missiles that get past them. It can cover all of Israel from a small number of launch sites around the country.