Israel Requests $642M in Missiles, Fuel
As part of the 1979 Camp David peace accords, the USA offered substantial long-term military aid packages to Israel and Egypt. Aside from the geopolitical considerations involved, these packages have been good for American industry because the dollars must be spent on American goods.
While Egypt did not and does not have a significant independent defense industry, Camp David’s aftermath saw a major shift away from Soviet weaponry and toward American alternatives on land, sea, and air. The recent $850 million request for Abrams tanks is a good example. In contrast, Israel has a globally competitive defense industry; because it can allocate American foreign assistance dollars to pay American firms, however, the country always finds itself balancing investment in domestic capabilities and spending against its pool of “free” American industry purchases. Or even investing in American plants and jobs to produce Israeli designs.
Amidst rumors of a planned attack by Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah in late 2007, Israel has made $1.1 billion worth of military purchase requests so far in August 2007. Almost all concern her air force, the Cheyl Ha’avir…
The procedure with DSCA announcements is that requested sales will be eligible for a contract 30 days after notice, unless a successful vote is taken in Congress to block a sale.
Aug 24/07: The US DSCA announces [PDF] Israel’s request for 30 RGM-84L BLOCK II HARPOON Anti-Ship missiles with containers, 500 AIM-9M SIDEWINDER Short Range Air-to-Air Infrared Guided missiles, spares and repair parts for support equipment, training, publications and technical documents, and other related elements of logistics and program support. The principal contractors will be the Boeing Company in St. Louis, MO (Harpoon) and Raytheon systems Corporation in Tucson, AZ (Sidewinder), and the estimated total for both purchases is $163 million.
The Harpoon Block II adds GPS guidance, improved processing that helps it distinguish targets amidst near-shore “clutter,” and land attack features. Harpoon competes with Israel’s own ship-borne Gabriel 3 anti-ship missile; Israel’s Navy operates both types, and both types can also be air-launched (AGM-84, Gabriel III A/S).
The AIM-9M Sidewinder SRAAM (Short Range Air-Air Missile) is currently the most common version in US stocks, but it is not the latest. That distinction goes to the new AIM-9X, which adds a number of significant improvements and has been sold to the US military and a number of foreign customers (including Israel’s neighbor Saudi Arabia). RAFAEL’s Python 4 and Python 5 SRAAMs are both superior to the AIM-9M, and compare favorably with the AIM-9X. The Cheyl Ha’avir deploys both weapons, in addition to American AIM-9M missiles.
Aug 24/07: The US DSCA announces [PDF] Israel’s request for 90 million gallons of JP-8 aviation jet fuel and 42 million gallons of diesel fuel. The estimated cost is $308 million. The Defense Energy Supply Center is unable to identify the vendors at this time due to the competitive bid process for the supply sources(s).
“The proposed sale of the JP-8 aviation fuel will enable Israel to maintain the operational capability of its aircraft inventory. The diesel fuel will be used for ground forces vehicles and other equipment used in keeping peace and security in the region.”
Aug 24/07: The US DSCA announces [PDF] Israel’s request for 200 AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air (AMRAAM) missiles, containers, components, spare/repair parts, publications, documentation, personnel training, training equipment, and other related support elements. The estimated cost is $171 million, and the principal contractor will be Raytheon Missile Systems Corporation, Tucson, AZ.
The most current version of the AMRAAM is the AIM-120D, which is just entering production. The AIM-120C-7 is the most advanced ‘C’ version, featuring an improved seeker head, greater jamming resistance, and slightly longer range as compared to previous versions. AMRAAM competes to some extent with RAFAEL’s shorter-range Derby 4 missile, but to date the Cheyl Ha’avir has elected to purchase AMRAAMs instead for its fighters.