Middle East Defense Update Sept. 21, 2011

A Boeing F-15E drops a GBU-28 deep penetration bomb on a test flight.
A Boeing F-15E drops a GBU-28 deep penetration bomb on a test flight.

N.Y. Times: U.S. Finally Delivers GBU-28 Bunker-Busting Bombs to Israel

The U.S. has recently delivered deep penetration guided bombs to Israel, according to the New York Times quoting unidentified U.S. officials. In the past, Israel requested such weapons several times but delivery was halted due to political pressure. EGBU-28 weapons were already on the way to Israel two years ago but the shipment was diverted elsewhere. The EGBU-28/BLU-113 Hard Target Penetrator was first deployed during the First Gulf War in 1991 as a laser guided munition. The 4,400 pounds (2.2 tons) weapon can destroy reinforced concrete protected targets buried 30 meters in the ground. (Defense-Update)

The first Airbus Military C295 was delivered today to the Egyptian Air Force. Photo: Airbus Military

Airbus Military Delivers First C295 Medium Transport to Egypt

September 23, 2011: The Egyptian Air Force (EAF) today has taken delivery of its first of three Airbus Military C295 transport aircraft ordered by the EAF in October 2010. The other two aircraft are to be delivered during the last quarter of 2011. The C295 is configured with standard equipment as well as the Cargo Handling and, Aerial Delivery system (CHADS). It can also be equipped for paratrooping and medical evacuation, and humanitarian relief missions. It can carry payloads of up to 9 tonnes, in standard cargo pallets, or 71 soldiers in transport missions, or be equipped with 50 paratroopers.

Turkish Aerospace Industries ANKA UAV Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. Photo: TAI

Turkey, Egypt Discuss Possible Export of Anka UAV

September 22, 2011: Turkey is offering Egypt its latest Anka Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). Ankara has already approved a contract signed between with Egypt, for the transfer of six fast intervention vessels. (Defense-Update)

MH60R. Photo: US Navy

Qatar to Buy Six MH-60R Maritime helicopters

September 22, 2011: Qatar is positioned to become the second export customer for the MH-60R SEAHAWK Multi-Mission Helicopters, manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft. The maritime helicopter is fitted with full mission system developed by Lockheed Martin. The estimated cost is $750 million. Earlier this year Australia selected the MH-60R for its next generation maritime /Anti-Submarine Warfare helicopter. 24 helicopters will be procured under the AU$3 billion Air 9000 Phase 8 program.

UAE to Buy Hellfire Missiles, Link 16 Datalinks

September 22, 2011: The UAE’s ‘Desert Falcons’ (F-16 Block 60) will receive the Multifunctional Information Distribution System/Low Volume Terminals (MIDS/LVT) LINK 16 Terminals enhancing communications between ground control and airborne fighters as well as among coalition air forces. 107 systems are to be delivered at a cost of $401 million. The U.S. also announced the sale of 500 Hellfire II missiles (AGM-114R3) to the UAE, seeking to modernize its missile inventory. The ‘Romeo’ is the latest version of the Hellfire II missile, equipped with multi-purpose warhead and improved field of regard for the laser seeker.

m119A 105mm howitzer. Photo: US Army

Saudi Arabia to Equip Three Artillery Regiments with U.S. Howitzers

September 21, 2011: Saudi Arabia is seeking to buy M777A2 lightweight, air-mobile howitzer guns from the U.S., three artillery battalions (53 guns) and associated target acquisition and fire locating radars, in an arms package worth about $886 million. (Defense-Update)

Rafael performed successful firing of the Spike ER missile, in compliance with Indian 3rd generation anti-tank missile procurement program. Photo: RAFAEL.

Rafael Fires Spike ER Missiles for Indian Evaluation

September 19, 2011: RAFAEL completed a successful test firing of three Spike ER multi-purpose air-to-surface missiles from an Israeli air force helicopter, qualifying the israeli company proposal for the Indian Air Forces’ 3rd Generation Anti-tank weapon program. The Indian Air Force can now proceed with the final selection between the two competitors, MBDA’s PARS3LR and RAFAEL’s Spike ER, to equip its Light Combat Helicopters (LCH). (Flight Global)

Elbit Systems won a $40 million contract to supply the IDF with automated Cardom SP mortars. Photo: Elbit Systems

Israel defense Forces to Deploy Additional Automated 120mm Mortars

September 18, 2011: Elbit Systems announced announced a $40 million contract award by the Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMOD), for the supply of self propelled 120mm Cardom mortars for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) providing infantry and armored battalions an organic fire support capability. The system is manufactured by Elbit Systems’ subsidiary Soltam Systems Ltd., First units of the Cardom (IDF designation: Keshet) were initially delivered to the IDF in 2007 and have already participated in combat operations in Gaza in 2009. The current contract covers systems supplied over a period of four years.

Bahrain to Buy Wireless TOW 2 Missiles

September 14, 2011: Bahrain has requested to buy 44 TOW launcher vehicles fitted with launchers firing the RF-guided TOW-2A/B Missiles. The $53 million package includes 290 TOW 2A/B missiles of three types including BGM-71E-4B-RF (Radio Frequency TOW-2A), AERO-TOW-2B and BGM-71H-1RF Bunker Buster Missiles plus associated logistics.