Sunday, June 11, 2006

Israel – America’s Skunk Works

The tiny nation of Israel is the most important arms technology supplier to the US – it developed the targeting package that killed Zarqawi, and fronts US defense against Iranian ICBMs.

Zarqawi's F-16 nemesis used
this to target him:
LITENING is under contract with the United States Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard, as well as six international air forces. The USMC has purchased the LITENING Targeting Pod to meet the precision attack requirement for the AV-8B Harrier. Northrop Grumman's Electronic Sensors and Systems Sector, located in Rolling Meadows, Illinois is partnered with RAFAEL of Israel to produce these systems.

LITENING pods are currently fielded with Air National Guard (ANG) F-16s, U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) AV-8Bs, and U.S. Air Force F-15Es. LITENING ER's predecessor, the LITENING II system with a 256 FLIR, is also operational on ANG and Air Force Reserve Command F-16s and on AV-8Bs owned and operated by the USMC, Italy and Spain.
The IAF has had this equipment for years. Hamas, now having declared war on the State of Israel, would be advised to head for its tunnels (and hope they're deep enough).

Defense against ICBMs is layered – you attack them in the boost phase, when they’re under power and moving in a straight line, mid-course, when they’re moving on a ballistic trajectory in space, or in the terminal phase as they head for their targets. It’s best to attack them in all phases.

The US mid and terminal phase defenses are in Alaska – fine for a NoKo attack, less so for one by the Mullahs. So:
The US has been intensifying its missile defense activity to face the possible threat of an attack from Iran, according to congressional testimony.

The Pentagon is working on building a first-ever missile defense base in Europe and at the same time the administration is actively supporting upgrading of the Israeli Arrow anti-missile system.

In the next months, the Pentagon is expected to make a decision on putting up an anti-missile site in Poland, which will be the first such site on European ground. American teams are holding talks in recent weeks with their counterparts from Poland in order to finalize the agreement this summer. Another possibility being examined is placing the missile base in the Czech Republic.
Polish or Czech sites sites would also provide mid and terminal phase defense to the ungrateful Germans and French – I bet they'll be secretly pleased!

More importantly, the Israeli Arrow batteries – currently operational at two coastal bases – as well as being in the right place to perform mid- and terminal phase interceptions of Iranian missiles headed in to Israel, are well located for boost-phase interception of Iranian missiles headed for the US.

So any US administration – even one led by Hillary – is going to make nice to these clever Israelis.