Israel Arms Industry

By pjain      Published Sept. 12, 2020, 1:30 a.m. in blog Geo-Politics   

Israel Arms Industry

Israel an Innovation Powerhouse

While America led the world in gross domestic spending on research and development (R&D) in 2018, Israel led in spending as a percentage of GDP. Through pioneering defense and dual-use technologies, they have also helped the United States and Israel maintain their QTE Qualitative Technology Edge —their ability to protect national security through superior capabilities.

China has dramatically grown its own R&D spending in recent decades and pursued emerging dual-use technologies like robotics and artificial intelligence (AI).

Made-in-Israel Arms

Defense experts have reasoned that Israel does not need the F-35 to maintain its technological superiority over the Arab countries and would be better off developing its own aircraft that did not have the design compromises of the F-35.

  • Moshe Arens was an Israeli aeronautical engineer, researcher, diplomat and Likud politician. A member of the Knesset between 1973 and 1992 and again from 1999 until 2003, he served as Minister of Defense three times and once as Minister of Foreign Affairs. Arens also served as the Israeli ambassador to the U.S. and was a professor at the Technion in Haifa.

F35 : Politics of Self-Reliance vs Best of Breed Imports from US Aerospace

US-Israel strategic alliance is based on the principle that Israel is the first country in the Middle East to receive the newest fighter aircraft. The IDF was sufficiently committed to this principle to override protests from the leaders of Israeli defense contractors, who claimed that the deal was damaging them as their fighter jets and trainers could not compete with trillions of dollars R&D in US Aerospace industry.

A significant factor in closing the deal included previous agreements on integrating Israeli defense contractors in producing the F-35 for other clients. Kind of funny, using US military aid to pay for F-35Is that will be significantly made or extended by Israeli firms.

It is like buying the shell of an iPhone with basics, but battery, memory, SD-card, camera, even the GUI, OS etc. made by a third party - these extensions are where all the profits are made, and custom value features added! Apple would never agree to such terms!

Elbit

IAI for Aerospace and Avionics Development

IDF particularly values the flexibility to install “plug-and-play” defensive countermeasures such as jamming pods as they become relevant and available. It so happens the Israeli firms Elbit and Israeli Aerospace Industries IAI are major developers of such systems. However, due to the F-35’s highly “fused” avionics, such plug-and-play support needs to be built both into F-35 software and apparently even the airframe. The add-ons will be installed in special apertures in the lower fuselage and leading edge of the wings—presumably, features only in the later production F-35Is that arrive in 2020.

Original F35 negotiations would bar the plane from being outfitted with radar built by Israel Aerospace Industries' Elta division.

Rafael missiles

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., known as RAFAEL or Rafael, is an Israeli defense technology company. It was founded as Israel's National R&D Defense Laboratory for the development of weapons and military technology within the Israeli Ministry of Defense; in 2002 it was incorporated as a limited company.

Ironically the LMTs "razor blade" profits would be based on missiles. So, the original F35 negotiations would bar use of missiles produced by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. In particular, finance ministry took a hard line that the purchase of American missiles would hurt development of new Israeli missile systems.

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems is developing smaller versions of the Python and Derby missiles for internal carriage on F-35.

Israel Military Industries Bombs

IMI is developing a penetration bomb in the same configuration as the Mk 82 500 lb bombs for F-35. However these have been put off in order to rush the aircraft into operation as Israel's response to Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Israel customized first 25 F35Is to add Command, Control, Communications and Computing (C4) system

Originally the first nineteen stealth jets received by Israel will actually be standard F-35A land-based fighters. LMT agreed that if Israel buys more F-35 squadrons from later production series, the installation of more Israeli-made systems will be allowed. To sweeten the deal, Lockheed Martin said it would buy parts and systems for the F-35 from Israeli companies at a cost of $4 b - $9 b. The aircraft will be designated F-35I, as there will be unique Israeli features installed in them.

The IAF initially presented a long list of unique and costly requirements for the JSF, but it has accepted that its first F-35s will be almost identical to those of the U.S. Air Force, with only Israeli command, control, computers, communications and intelligence systems installed in them. The plans to add Israeli EW systems, air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions as well as an external fuel tank, were approved in principle but will be deferred in order to protect the budgetary framework and delivery schedule. As it turned out, instead of paying billions to LMT, Israeli arms industry did it internally due to delay by over 3 years!

But in reality ALL the following thirty-one will be true F-35Is modified to integrate Israeli-built hardware. However, most media sources have taken to labeling all of them as F-35Is, and it does appear even the initial batch will be retrofitted with an open-architecture Israeli Command, Control, Communications and Computing (C4) systems.

LMT agreed to allow Israeli F-35s to be rewired so that Israeli electronic warfare systems can be installed on the aircraft. That would allow Israel to gradually add indigenous EW sensors and countermeasures on its fighters once it receives its first squadron. With that deal in hand, officials for both the IAF and Lockheed Martin expect the $2.7 billion contract for the procurement of 19 or 20 F-35As will be signed by early 2012. - 7 July 2011 Aviation Week article

Israeli F-35Is uniquely will have an overriding Israeli-built C4 program that runs “on top” of Lockheed’s Lightning’s operating system. Compatibility with datalinks used by friendly Israeli air and ground forces is thus an important aspect from Israel’s perspective as it tracks the position of hostile surface-to-surface rocket launchers and surface-to-air missiles systems.The new system will also allow the IDF to install Israeli-built datalinks and defensive avionics systems such as radar-jamming pods.

F-35I To Carry its own Weapons systems - Far Cheaper, deadlier, More Integrated

The F-35I will be certified to carry major Israeli-developed weapons systems in its internal weapons bay, notably including the Python-5 short-range heat-seeking air-to-air missile, and the Spice family of glide bombs, which combine electro-optical, satellite and man-in-the-loop guidance options for greater targeting versatility and have a range of up to sixty miles.

Israel extends range of F35Is

However, the F-35 has a smaller combat radius than most fourth-generation jets, due to its inability to carry extra fuel tanks without compromising stealth.

Israel is developing two different sets of external fuel tanks to extend the F-35’s range. In 2013, Lockheed Martin vice president, Steve O'Bryan, said that they were "examining the feasibility" of adding stealthy conformal fuel tanks manufactured by Elbit Systems. 1. Non-stealthy 425-gallon underwing tanks developed by a subsidiary of Elbit—these could be dropped when approaching enemy airspace (the pylons holding the drop tanks would reportedly detach as well so as not to compromise stealth), or used for missions in which stealth isn’t necessary.

  1. Stealthy the IAI wants to co-develop with Lockheed bolt-on conformal fuel tanks which “hug” the F-35 airframe so as not to compromise stealth and aerodynamics.

References


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