Israel strengthens cooperation with the U.S. in space domain

By Arie Egozi

Israel and the U.S are negotiating the establishment of a joint space coordination unit to enhance the military space capabilities of both countries.

One idea is to establish a component command under CENTCOM but other ideas are being evaluated now.

Israel wants a full interface with U.S satellites that cover regions that may generate serious threats like the new Iranian ballistic missiles.

The issue was discussed in November during the visit of the Israeli defence forces (IDF) Chief of the General Staff, LTG Aviv Kohavi, in the U.S.

During the visit Kohavi visited the U.S. Navy Fleet Forces Command (USFF) headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia.

The Chief of the General Staff of Israel Defense Forces was accompanied by the Commander of the U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Admiral Daryl Caudle.

Kohavi also participated in an operational situational assessment at the U.S. CENTCOM Coalition in Tampa, Florida.

According to the IDF spoke person, the joint situational assessment held between the militaries focused on regional challenges, primarily the Iranian threat.

“During the assessment, a plan for the continuation of the joint activity and the establishment of dedicated teams to deal with the Iranian challenge was agreed upon.”

While concluding the visit Kohavi said that in order to improve our capabilities toward the challenges in the region, joint activity with CENTCOM will be significantly expanded in the near future.

“At the same time, the IDF will continue to act at an accelerated rate against the entrenchment of the Iranian regime in the region.”

The space activities for military purposes is now a priority for the U.S armed forces and the IDF.

To oversee military space activities throughout the Indo-Pacific, the Space Force recently inaugurated a regional command center at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The first of a series of new component commands that will serve as the service’s primary global interfaces.

Israel is a space power. Some years ago the official name of the Israeli Air Force has been changed to the Israeli air and space force. Most of Israel’s operations in space are highly classified. The open part of the activity shows very advanced capabilities in developing launchers and different satellites carrying very advanced payloads.

Major General (Ret) prof. Yitzhak Ben – Israel was until recently the head of the Israeli space agency.

During his service, Yitzhak Ben-Israel has held several posts in operations, intelligence and weapon development units of the IAF. He headed the IAF Operations Research Branch, Analysis and Assessment Division of IAF Intelligence, and was the Head of Military R&D in Israel Defence Forces and Ministry of Defence.

“It is always fruitful to integrate capabilities especially when dealing with developing threats”.

In recent years Israel moved ahead in its space programme. One part of this program is the decision to launch a great number of nano- and microsatellites that will operate in swarms and will supply Israel with advanced early warning about an evolving threat like preparations for the launch of Iranian ballistic missiles.

Prof. Ben Israel said that during the first Gulf war in 1991 U.S satellites gave Israel an early warning on the launch of Iraqi missiles aimed at Israel.

While Iran is galloping to the bomb, Israel takes big strides to be better ready and space is the new arena.

 

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