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US troops in Iraq (archives)
Photo: Reuters
US to purchase $700m worth of arms from Israel
Weapons and technological systems to be acquired from Jewish state's defense industries include navigation and attack sensor system for combat aircraft, UAV and advanced pilot helmets
WASHINGTON – The US Congress on Friday approved the purchase of weapons and technological systems from Israel's defense industries for $700 million.

 

The advanced technological products will be acquired as part of the American security budget for the coming year to be used by US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

The purchase of weapons from Israel is not part of Israel's annual defense aid from the United States, which amounts to $2.4 billion and is expected to grow in 2009 to an annual average of $ 3 billion for the following 10 years.

 

Only one part of the security budget – the production of the Arrow anti-ballistic missile system and the research and development of other defense missiles, the cost of which is estimated at $155 million – is related to special US aid, with the American Boeing company involved in the manufacturing of parts of the Arrow missile.

 

The weapons and components to be purchased by the US include Lightning – a navigation and attack sensor system for combat aircraft produced by the RAFAEL Armament Development Authority.

 

This system replaces obsolete systems and enables US pilots in Iraq to operate both in the day and in the night under all weather conditions. The system's purchase price is estimated at $39.6 million.

 

The Israel Aerospace Industries' Hunter unmanned aerial vehicle will be bought for $36.5 million. The use of UAVs allows the US military to locate targets and then examine the results of the strike without putting pilots in danger.

 

Elbit's pilot helmet systems will be purchased for $37.5 and RAFAEL's Typhoon stabilized marine gun system will cost $16 million.

 

In May, the US Congress also approved the purchase of reactive Israeli defense systems placed on American Bradley fighting vehicles in Iraq. This systems helps the American APCs escape antitank missiles.

 

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