Israeli Weapons Systems Employed by the U.S.
Israel, a small nation surrounded by enemies many times her size, has long been known as a great innovator of cutting-edge military technology at affordable costs. Over the years, Israel's ingenuity has helped it win many battles and protect the lives of its soldiers. American interest in Israeli systems is growing as the U.S. military looks for ways to decrease its spending and minimize casualties during wartime. "Made in Israel" solutions are now meeting some of America's biggest needs.
ITALD (Improved Tactical Air Launched Decoy)
These jet powered, unpiloted decoys look and maneuver like an airplance. They are used to confuse enemy radar and draw the fire away from the piloted aircraft. Therefore, piloted aircraft can perform their missions under "safer" conditions because enemy radar attention is diverted and the enemy's air defense power is degraded. Earlier unpowered glider versions of the ITALD were used extensively during the initial stages of the Gulf War and in Bosnia.
Reactive Armor Tiles
These tiles, developed by the IDF after the Yom Kippur War, protect its tanks and the soldiers operating them. These tiles overlay the tank's armor and have explosives embedded in them that explode outward when hit by missiles. The explosion destroys and repels the incoming missile before it penetrates the tank's main armor. During the 1982 Lebanon war, not a single Israeli tank equipped with these tiles was lost to enemy fire. The Army has received funds to outfit several hundred armored vehicles used in peacekeeping or urban combat operations with the protective tile sets.
The Litening is a navigation and targeting device that enables aircraft to fly and target in bad weather and at night. The Litening transforms older planes into round-the-clock fighters. The Litening is equipped with two cameras. One uses heat sensors to identify targets at night and during bad weather. A second provides powerful images from long-range, and therefore safer, distances during the day. The U.S. Air National Guard, a quarter of whose fleet cannot fly at night, has purchased the Litening to enhance the capabilities of its F-16s. The Litening is also being purchased by the U.S. Marine Corps.
The Popeye/ HAVE NAP AGM-142
The HAVE NAP AGM-142, 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 these aircraft, armed with the Popeye, were deployed to Europe for use in Kosovo. The Popeye's unique capabilities are especially useful for the types of pinpoint strikes seen in Operation Allied Force.
UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles)
The introduction of the UAV has been one of the most important factors enabling the United States to fight effective air wars with a minimum of casualties. Today, the United States has one of the largest fleets of Israeli-made UAVs. UAVs are used to identify targets and assess bomb damage without putting pilots at risk. During the Gulf War, as well as in 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. This information enabled commanders to target their aircraft to destroy these sites.
The Python-4 is recognized as the world' 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. This gives it a much larger zone in which in can effectively destroy enemy aircraft.