Over the weekend, Israel’s Defense Ministry completed the delivery of Iron Dome air defense systems to the US Army under an agreement between the two countries, providing the second of two batteries. The systems will be employed in the defense of US troops against a variety of ballistic and aerial threats. The United States and Israel signed the agreement in August 2019 for the provision of two Iron Dome batteries. The first was delivered in September and is already being prepared for operational use. The second was also delivered in accordance with the project schedule. The delivery was made by the Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO), part of the Defense Ministry’s Directorate of Defense Research and Development.
Congress has overridden President Trump’s veto of a defense policy bill, a first by lawmakers since he took office nearly four years ago. In an extraordinary New Year’s Day session, the Republican-controlled Senate easily turned aside the veto, dismissing Trump’s objections to the $740 billion bill and handing him a stinging rebuke just weeks before his term ends. The 81-13 vote in the Senate followed an earlier 322-87 override vote in the House of the widely popular defense measure. The bill provides a 3 percent pay raise for U.S. troops and guides defense policy, cementing decisions about troop levels, new weapons systems and military readiness, personnel policy and other military goals. Many programs, including military construction, can only go into effect if the bill is approved.
Middle East & Africa
According to Israel Defense, Israeli company Emtan, a manufacturer of small arms and rifles for armed forces and law enforcement agencies, unveiled this week the Ramon Op, the latest model from its 9 mm Ramon pistol family of products. Various types of optical sights can be attached to the handgun. The Ramon is a striker fired pistol built on a polymer body that allows enhanced grip, handling and target acquisition. All of its components including the barrel are manufactured by Emtan, and the company provides the Ramon with an option for tritium sights as well as an option to install a “red dot” optical sight by an original integrated adapter combined with the slide. The ‘Ramon Op’ has an enhanced grip and target acquisition features including the option of attaching various types of optical sights, the company says
The Defense Department announced the the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz and its strike group are to remain in the Middle East to counter Iranian threats days after it was ordered to return home following a 10-month deployment. Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller announced the move in a statement,saying the carrier “will now remain on station in the US Central Command area of operations,” which consists of more than 4 million square miles and 20 countries, including Iran.
Austrian Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner announced she wants more money for the Austrian army despite the national dept due to the coronavirus pandemic. „We will invest in military equipment such as armored vehicles and weapons“, she said speaking of her plans for 2021. The replacement of the C-130 Hercules is also part of her plans. The Hercules will have to retire in seven years. The defense minister wants to set up a team working on the procurement details of the Hercules replacement at the beginning of 2021.
South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) awarded a contract worth nearly $480 million to South Korea’s Hyundai Rotem to commence production of the third batch of K2 Black Panther main battle tanks for the South Korean Army. Hyundai Rotem started serial production of the first batch of K2 tanks in 2010 and completed delivery of 100 tanks in 2015. A second batch of 106 tanks that was ordered in 2014 is expected to be completed in 2021. Under the latest contract, all of the tanks are to be delivered to the Republic of Korea Army by 2023.
Watch: Leopard 2A7 vs K2 Black Panther Tank Comparison