Israel Supports American Security

Israel Supports American Security

© David Burton 2018


     There are those who complain of America’s military aid to the State of Israel. Those who criticize, whine and carp about the amount of this aid almost always bend the truth, don’t tell the whole story and never mention the significant fact that nearly all this military aid money ends up being spent right here in America, bolstering the American economy, creating or maintaining jobs for American workers, and supporting the industrial base that is critical to producing the weapons and defensive systems needed to keep our military out in front of any potential adversary. Quite simply, these critics of the aid to Israel have their own agenda to push, and, bluntly stated, their agenda is not favorable to Israel or to the Jewish people.

     The security interaction between Israel and the united States is far from one sided. Israel is a prime supplier of advanced technology to America’s military. The advanced technology that Israel provides, along with the critical intelligence it makes available to America, is far from insignificant.

Advanced Technology

     One example of the military support that Israel is supplying to the United States is a so-called active protection system, a defense technology “that can shoot down threats to tanks and other armored vehicles {This system} will equip a brigade of U.S. Army tanks, protecting them during a deployment to Europe in 2020. The Israeli-made Trophy system will be retrofitted on up to 80 M1 Abrams tanks, providing added protection against modern tank-killing threats.
     “The Trophy system is manufactured and marketed by Israeli defense contractor Rafael and international defense contractor Leonardo. It works by ringing a tank with flat panel radar sensors that constantly monitor for incoming threats. Once an incoming tank round, anti-tank missile, or shoulder-fired anti-tank rocket is detected on a collision course with the tank, the Trophy system launches a number of explosively formed projectiles (metal sheets deformed by an explosion into a projectile) in a shotgun-like pattern at the incoming threat weapon. Trophy either detonates the incoming warhead or knocks the object down.
      - - -
     “Tank rounds, missiles, and rockets all travel much too fast for a human being to react to. As a result, active protection systems like Trophy are fully automated. The system first detects and classifies a threat, determining if the threat is a supersonic tank round or subsonic missile or rocket. Next, it tracks the incoming threat, determines intercept trajectory for the hardkill system, and alerts the crew. Finally, it launches the explosively formed projectiles, blasting the incoming enemy weapon at a safe distance from the tank and any dismounted troops around it.” (Ref. 1)

     Israel also provides defensive aides for other of America’s combat vehicles. The Israel company, Rafael, “has provided protective systems to the Army for the past two decades, with its reactive and passive armor being installed on fighting vehicles such as Bradleys, Strykers and AAV-7 assault amphibious vehicles . . . “ (Ref. 2)

     The F-35 joint strike fighter is America’s most advanced combat aircraft and is a modern technological wonder. Israel was the first foreign nation to be allowed to purchase this advanced weapon system and delivery of these fighter aircraft to Israel has already begun. But, the F-35 is not a totally American developed platform. “For example, Israeli innovation has played an important role in elements of the F-35 joint strike fighter, which incorporates helmet-mounted display system technology brought to the United States through Elbit Systems of America {Elbit is an Israeli defense company}. This technology allows pilots to {effectively} see through the skin of the plane, using advanced sensor and display technology to provide instant target recognition and designation.” (Ref. 3)

     Some of the Israeli developed military systems that have been supplied to America’s armed forces are listed below. (Ref. 4)

  • The U.S. Army chose to purchase the Iron Fist Light Configuration active protection system for its armored personnel carriers in June 2015. It was developed by Israel Military Industries and uses a complex network of radar and electro-optics to detect and neutralize a broad range of missiles and other objects.
  • Israel's Elbit Systems was awarded a 15-year contract from the US Marine Corps in March 2015 to supply them with Common Laser Range Finder systems. The new systems will assist Marines in concealed positions with imaging, range-finding, and navigation through combat areas.
  • The U.S. Army approved the Skystar 180 for purchase in March 2015, after a unit successfully completed the Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment. It is a surveillance balloon manufactured for tactical surveillance, public safety, police, and military activities.
  • The ADM-141 TALD (Improved Tactical Air Launched Decoy) is a jet powered, unpiloted decoy that looks and maneuver like an airplane. TALD's are used to confuse enemy radar and draw the fire away from piloted aircraft so they can perform their missions under "safer" conditions. Earlier unpowered glider versions of the ITALD were used extensively by the U.S. during the initial stages of the Gulf War and in Bosnia.
  • The Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System is a helmet-mounted display (HMD) system that allows fighter pilots to target enemy aircraft by using a display within their helmet to guide the missiles at the target they are looking at rather than having to maneuver their aircraft into an attack position. It is in use on America’s most modern fighter, the F-35.
  • Developed by the IDF after the Yom Kippur War, Reactive Armor Tiles protect tanks and the soldiers within them. The tiles overlay the tank's armor and have embedded explosives that detonate outward when hit by missiles. The explosion destroys and repels the incoming missile before it penetrates the tank's main armor.
  • The LITENING Targeting Pod is a navigation and targeting device that enables aircraft to fly and target in bad weather and at night. It transforms older planes into round-the-clock fighters. The LITENING Targeting Pod is equipped with two cameras - one uses heat sensors to identify targets at night and during bad weather, while the second provides powerful images from long-range distances during the day. The U.S. Air National Guard, a quarter of whose fleet cannot fly at night, has purchased these targeting pods to enhance the capabilities of its F-16 fighter aircraft. They are also being purchased by the U.S. Marine Corps.
  • The AGM-142 Have Nap missile, also known as the "Popeye," is used to destroy targets, such as concrete military bunkers, with exceptional precision from great distances. It is the only air-to-ground missile that can be retargeted after launch. The United States uses the Popeye on B-52 bombers. A small number of aircraft armed with the Popeye were deployed to Europe for use in Kosovo.
  • The UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) has been one of the most important factors enabling the United States to fight effectively with minimum casualties. The U.S. has one of the largest fleets of Israeli-made UAVs which are used to identify targets and assess bomb damage without putting pilots at risk. During the Gulf War and Kosovo, Israeli-made Pioneer and Hunter UAVs were used to stop hard-to-detect targets such as missile launchers, artillery units and command and control bunkers.
  • The Python-4 Air-to-Air Missile has been recognized as the world's most advanced short-range air-to-air missile. Unlike other missiles of its kind, the Python can fire at targets from any angle, not just those directly in front of it.
  • The SIMON breach grenade is a rifle grenade designed to breach through doors. It is mainly used to access buildings with locked or barricaded doors without endangering U.S. troops or the people inside.
  • The B300/SMAW Bunker-Busting Missile is a Shoulder-Launched Multipurpose Assault Weapon (SMAW) for use in destroying deeply buried and hardened concrete-reinforced bunkers. The U.S. Marine Corps procured this missile for use in Iraq.
  • The well-known UZI Submachine Gun has been used by the U.S. Secret Service for some time.
  • Mine Plows are attached to the front end of tanks, enabling a tank to push land mines aside.
  • The SINCGARS radio is the most widely used tactical radio in the U.S. Army inventory.
  • Helicopter Crash Survival Seats drastically reduce the effects of a helicopter crash by absorbing much of the crash's energy.
  • The Night Targeting System (NTS) was used on Cobra attack helicopters to operate day or night, in good and bad weather.
  • The Cardom is a 120mm Recoil mortar system that uses modern electronic navigation, self-positioning, and target acquisition.
  • The Gabriel is an anti-ship missile.
     Israel and the United States have a shared interested in missile defense, both tactical and strategic. “The Arrow 3 or Hetz 3 is an exoatmospheric anti-ballistic missile, jointly funded, developed and produced by Israel and the United States. Undertaken by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Boeing, it is overseen by the Israeli Ministry of Defense's "Homa" administration and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency. It provides exo-atmospheric interception of ballistic missiles (during the space-flight portion of their trajectory), including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) carrying nuclear, chemical, biological or conventional warheads.” (Ref. 5) In 2017, an Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missile system intercepted and shot down a surface-to-air missile fired at Israeli Air Force (IAF) jets that had struck targets in southern Syria.

     “The David’s Sling Weapon System forms a crucial element of Israel’s multi-tier layered missile defense architecture to provide mid-tier regional missile defense. David’s Sling provides terminal-phase hit-to-kill defense against tactical ballistic missiles, medium- to long-range rockets, enemy planes, drones and cruise missiles, including Scud missiles.
     “Declared fully operational in 2017, David’s Sling was co-developed by Raytheon and Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. In addition to partnering on the system’s Stunner interceptor, Raytheon produces the system’s missile firing units.” (Ref. 6)

     "Israel and the United States work together to develop sophisticated military technology, such as the David's Sling counter-rocket and Arrow missile defense systems, which may soon be ready for export to other U.S. allies.” (Ref. 7)

     Raytheon Company has teamed with Israel’s Rafael company to market the tested and proven Iron Dome anti-missile system in the United States. In April 2016, the Iron Dome successfully shot down a UAV during a test firing in the United States, the system's first trial on foreign soil.

     “Israel has . . . emerged as an important niche defense supplier to the U.S. military, with sales growing from $300 million per year before September 11 to $1.1 billion in 2006, due to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Israel's military research and development complex has pioneered many cutting-edge technologies that are transforming the face of modern war, including cyberweapons, unmanned vehicles (such as land robots and aerial drones), sensors and electronic warfare systems, and advanced defenses for military vehicles.” (Ref. 7)


     Israel has been a major contributor to helping “the United States deal with traditional security threats. The two countries share intelligence on terrorism, nuclear proliferation, and Middle Eastern politics. Israel's military experiences have shaped the United States' approach to counterterrorism and homeland security.” (Ref. 7)

     Israel supports America’s security needs with more than just advanced and sophisticated hardware. “Israel's intelligence and insights into Middle Eastern affairs is ‘unparalleled’ throughout the world and ‘benefits the US in all sorts of ways.’ For decades, intelligence analysts have regarded Israel's Unit 8200 as one of the most elite in the world. The unit functions similarly to the US National Security Agency, and the two work closely together.

     “In 2010, for example, the US and Israel collaborated on one of the most-sophisticated malware systems ever created, Stuxnet, to infiltrate Iran's cyber infrastructure and slow progress towards nuclear weapons without firing a shot. In missile defense as well, US and Israel have worked together to field some of the most effective systems around.” (Ref. 8)

     With respect to the battle against ISIS, it was known as far back as 2014 that Israel had “provided satellite imagery and other intelligence in support of the U.S.-led aerial campaign against Islamic State in Iraq . . .
     “Once ‘scrubbed’ of evidence of its Israeli origin, the information {was often} shared by Washington with Arab and Turkish allies . . .
      - - -
     “. . . Israeli spy satellites, overflying Iraq at angles and frequencies unavailable from U.S. satellites, had provided images that allowed the Pentagon to ‘fill out its information and get a better battle damage assessments’ after strikes on Islamic State targets.
     “Israel had also shared information gleaned from international travel databases about Western citizens suspected of joining the insurgents, who could be potential recruits for future attacks in their native countries.” (Ref. 9)

     “One of the most significant contributions Israel has made to U.S. security has been shared intelligence. The truth is the United States has little alternative but to depend on Israel for much of its Middle Eastern human intelligence because the CIA's capability has diminished. In post-revolutionary Iran, the CIA no longer had a presence and the CIA's Lebanon station was virtually wiped out in the 1983 bombing of the U.S. embassy in Beirut. The United States relies on the Mossad and other Israeli intelligence agencies for information about terrorism, radical Islamic movements, weapons proliferation and other Middle East-related events.
     “For example, Israel supplied the United States with valuable intelligence about Soviet fighters and their avionics. This occurred {in} 1989 after a Syrian pilot defected in an advanced model of a MIG-23 and American officials were allowed to examine the plane.
      - - -
     “In 2010, Iran announced that uranium enrichment at Natanz had stopped several times because of a series of technical problems. . . In June, anti-virus experts discovered a sophisticated computer worm dubbed ‘Stuxnet,’ which . . . {targeted} Siemens industrial software and equipment used by Iran to control centrifuges used to enrich uranium at its Natanz plant. {It was} subsequently reported that Stuxnet {was} part of a U.S. and Israeli intelligence operation called ‘Operation Olympic Games,’ initiated by President George W. Bush and expanded under President Barack Obama.
      - - -
     “Although Stuxnet was discovered, it is believed that the United States, Israel and others continue to use cyberwarfare in an effort to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program.
     “U.S. diplomats reported in 2014 that Israel {had} been assisting in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) by providing the United States with intelligence information, including lists of Westerners who {had} joined ISIS. Israel . . . also provided vital intelligence in the form of drones flying over ISIS territory. This information {was} then used to carry out air strikes and plan coordinated attacks.
     “In 2017, it was disclosed that {Israel had} penetrated a cell of bombmakers in Syria. Israel passed on information indicating ISIS had learned to make explosives resembling laptop computer batteries, which can evade detection by airport X-ray machines and other screening devices. The information prompted the United States to ban large electronic devices in carry-on luggage on flights from 10 airports in eight Muslim-majority countries to the United States and Britain. President Trump is believed to have revealed the intelligence to Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, and the ambassador to the United States, Sergey I. Kislyak during a meeting the Oval Office in May 2017.” (Ref. 10)

     “It’s well known today that Israeli and U.S. intelligence agencies often cooperate closely, and that Jerusalem routinely provides Washington with important and hard-to-obtain information. Less well known is that this cooperation dates back to the 1950s. It was Israel, for instance, that obtained a copy of Nikita Khrushchev’s 1956 ‘secret speech’ to Communist party leaders, denouncing Stalin. Israel also, on numerous occasions, captured advanced Soviet weaponry from its Arab enemies, which it then gave to the U.S., helping the latter stay abreast of Moscow’s technology and its vulnerabilities.” (Ref. 11)

     “In 1967, Israel defeated a radical Arab, pro-Soviet offensive, which threatened to bring about the collapse of pro-American Arab regimes and disrupt oil supply, thus severely undermining the American standard of living. The U.S. gained valuable military information from analysis of captured Soviet equipment, including SAM-2, SAM-12, Mig-21 aircraft, and Soviet T-54 battle tanks. In fact, Israel gave an entire squadron of MiG-21s to the U.S. which was dubbed the ‘Top Gun’ squadron and used by the U.S. Air and Naval forces for training purposes. Since 1967, Israel transferred captured Soviet weapons systems to the U.S. Pentagon after every conflict: 1967, 1967-70, 1973, 1982, 1990 (Scud remnants from the Gulf War), and 2006 (remnants of Iranian supplied missiles.
     “In the 1967-1970 1000 Day War of Attrition, the IDF, armed with American aircraft successfully defeated a Soviet-supplied air defense system, pointing out the deficiencies in Soviet air-defense doctrine to US defense planners. Israel shared captured military equipment include P-2 radar and Soviet tanks with the U.S. military.” (Ref. 12)

     With respect to Israel’s making Advanced Soviet military technology available to the United States, I can speak from personal experience. Following the 1973 Yom Kippur War, I met with U.S. Army officers who were effusive in expressing their gratitude to Israel for providing them with almost instantaneous access to the most modern and sophisticated Soviet weaponry that Israel had captured from the Egyptians. Some of this captured equipment was transferred to the U.S. for exploitation.

     “During the cold war, U.S. intelligence had difficulty collecting information from behind the Iron Curtain, instead concentrating on technical means of collection, especially aerial photography: first by U-2 planes, then by satellites. Thus, particularly in domains of a clearly technological nature such as the Soviet nuclear threat, it was easy to err through over- or underestimation. [By recruiting retired members of the Soviet defense establishment], the Israeli intelligence community succeeded, in the latter half of the 1970s and the early 1980s, to provide its American counterpart with highly valuable, original information on the Soviet strategic-missile array as it existed at the end of the 1960s.
     “Based on the information that Israel provided, one could construct a detailed and quite accurate picture of the structure and dispersal of at least some of the Soviet army’s strategic-missile brigades. . . . Some of the intelligence information could be verified with aerial photographs. But it also included details, as well as rumors, that were verified only later. . . .
     “The CIA expressed its gratitude to the Israeli intelligence community, noting that the information was ‘unique’ and had enabled the agency to adjust its intelligence overestimation on the issue in question. According to a senior CIA official, the information obtained from Israel indicated that Soviet strategic-missile technology was inferior to what the CIA had [previously] believed. . . . [This] Israeli information made a particularly important contribution to America’s ability to defend itself against a Soviet nuclear strike.” (Ref. 11)


  1. U.S. Army Tanks to Get Active Protection Systems by 2020 , Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics,
    10 October 2017.
  2. Army to Receive Active Protection Systems, Sonja Jordan, National Defense, Page 14, September 2018.
  3. Foreign Investment, National Security Need Balanced Approach, Raanan Horowitz, National Defense, Page 23, September 2018.
  4. U.S.-Israel Strategic Cooperation: Israeli Military Equipment Used by the U.S., Jewish Virtual Library,
    Accessed 21 September 2018.
  5. Arrow 3, Wikipedia, Accessed 21 September 2018.
  6. David’s Sling Weapon System, Raytheon, Accessed 21 September 2018.
  7. Friends with Benefits: Why the U.S.-Israeli Alliance Is Good for America, Michael Eisenstadt and David Pollock, The Washington Institute, 7 November 2012.
  8. Here's why the US and Israel are such close allies, Alex Lockie, Business Insider, 18 February 2017.
  9. Israel provides intelligence on Islamic State - Western diplomat, Reuters, 8 September 2014.
  10. U.S.-Israel Strategic Cooperation: Intelligence Collaboration, Jewish Virtual Library,
    Accessed 21 September 2018.
  11. How Israeli Intelligence Provided the U.S with Vital Help During the Cold War, Mosaic Magazine, 2 March 2018.
  12. WHAT ISRAEL DOES FOR THE UNITED STATES, Dr. Steve Carol, Israel Act Now, 29 July 2009.


  27 September 2018 {Article 336; Israel_39}    
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