Israel Defense Forces | weapons and equipment

Weapons and equipment

Merkava – Israeli main battle tank, with 4 generations

Military equipment

The IDF possesses top-of-the-line weapons and computer systems. Some gear comes from the US (with some equipment modified for IDF use) such as the M4A1 and M16 assault rifles, the M24 SWS 7.62 mm bolt action sniper rifle, the SR-25 7.62 mm semi-automatic sniper rifle, the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets, and the AH-1 Cobra and AH-64D Apache attack helicopters. Israel has also developed its own independent weapons industry, which has developed weapons and vehicles such as the Merkava battle tank series, Nesher and Kfir fighter aircraft, and various small arms such as the Galil and Tavor assault rifles, and the Uzi submachine gun. Israel has also installed a variant of the Samson RCWS, a remote controlled weapons platform, which can include machine guns, grenade launchers, and anti-tank missiles on a remotely operated turret, in pillboxes along the Israeli Gaza Strip barrier intended to prevent Palestinian militants from entering its territory.[85][86] Israel has developed observation balloons equipped with sophisticated cameras and surveillance systems used to thwart terror attacks from Gaza.[87] The IDF also possesses advanced combat engineering equipment which include the IDF Caterpillar D9 armored bulldozer, IDF Puma CEV, Tzefa Shiryon and CARPET minefield breaching rockets, and a variety of robots and explosive devices.

The IDF also has several large internal research and development departments, and it purchases many technologies produced by the Israeli security industries including IAI, IMI, Elbit Systems, Rafael, and dozens of smaller firms. Many of these developments have been battle-tested in Israel's numerous military engagements, making the relationship mutually beneficial, the IDF getting tailor-made solutions and the industries a good reputation.[citation needed]

In response to the price overruns on the US Littoral Combat Ship program, Israel is considering producing their own warships, which would take a decade[88] and depend on diverting US financing to the project.[89]

Main developments

Israel's military technology is most famous for its firearms, armored fighting vehicles (tanks, tank-converted armored personnel carriers (APCs), armoured bulldozers, etc.), unmanned aerial vehicles, and rocketry (missiles and rockets). Israel also has manufactured aircraft including the Kfir (reserve), IAI Lavi (canceled), and the IAI Phalcon Airborne early warning System, and naval systems (patrol and missile ships). Much of the IDF's electronic systems (intelligence, communication, command and control, navigation etc.) are Israeli-developed, including many systems installed on foreign platforms (esp. aircraft, tanks and submarines), as are many of its precision-guided munitions. Israel is the world's largest exporter of drones.[90]

Israel Military Industries (IMI) is known for its firearms. The IMI Galil, the Uzi, the IMI Negev light machine gun and the new Tavor TAR-21 Bullpup assault rifle are used by the IDF. The Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Spike missile is one of the most widely exported ATGMs in the world.[91]

Israel is the only country in the world with an operational anti-ballistic missile defense system on the national level – the Arrow system, jointly funded and produced by Israel and the United States. The Iron Dome system against short-range rockets is operational and proved to be successful, intercepting hundreds of Qassam, 122 mm Grad and Fajr-5 artillery rockets fire by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip.[92][93] David's Sling, an anti-missile system designed to counter medium range rockets, became operational in 2017. Israel has also worked with the US on development of a tactical high energy laser system against medium range rockets (called Nautilus or THEL).

Israel has the independent capability of launching reconnaissance satellites into orbit, a capability shared with Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, South Korea, Italy, Germany, the People's Republic of China, India, Japan, Brazil and Ukraine. Israeli security industries developed both the satellites (Ofeq) and the launchers (Shavit).[94][95]

Israel is known to have developed nuclear weapons.[96] Israel does not officially acknowledge its nuclear weapons program. It is thought Israel possesses between one hundred and four hundred nuclear warheads.[96][97] It is believed that Jericho intercontinental ballistic missiles are capable of delivering nuclear warheads with a superior degree of accuracy and a range of 11,500 km.[98] Israeli F-15I and F-16 fighter-bomber aircraft also have been cited as possible nuclear delivery systems (these aircraft types are nuclear capable in the US Air Force).[99][100][101] The U.S. Air Force F-15E has tactical nuclear weapon (B61 and B83 bombs) capability.[102] It has been asserted that Dolphin-class submarines have been adapted to carry Popeye Turbo Submarine-launched cruise missiles with nuclear warheads, so as to give Israel a second strike capacity.[103][104]

From 2006 Israel deployed the Wolf Armoured Vehicle APC for use in urban warfare and to protect VIPs.

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