Israel Sets the Stage for a Massive, $60 Billion Military BuildupMuch more here.
By David Eshel
Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi approved today (Sept 3rd, 2007) the Israel defense Forces (IDF) five year military procurement plan under the codename "TEFEN 2012" projecting expenditure of US$60 billion over five years between 2008 and 2012. The program reflects the IDF's utilization of the increased US military aid supporting about 75% of the program. The US$30 Billion additional military aid to be allocated over 10 years was committed by the USA last month to support Israel's military buildup will play an instrumental role in the new revitalization program and, will most probably influence some of the IDF procurement decisions. TEFEN will be submitted to government approval by January 2008.For the first time in over a decade, the IDF make significant investment in its land forces, as it plans to field hundreds of new Merkava Mk4 tanks, heavy armored personnel fighting vehicles, command and control elements and a wide range of unmanned systems.
Strategic investments in Intelligence, Reconnaissance and Surveillance (ISR) will constitute a major element in TEFEN, as ISR programs are expected to proceed at an even higher pace, facing the growing risk of escalation and destabilization in the region. Assets will include aerial (manned and unmanned) platforms, spaceborne and electronic surveillance means. Furthermore, Israel is expected expand its missile defensive systems, introducing enhanced Arrow 3 ballistic missile interceptors, which will enhance the current 'Homa' program preparing to face the imminent unconventional threat from Iran, anticipated by the end of this decade. The program is funding continued development of the 'Magic Wand' medium range missile interceptor, currently under development in a joint Israeli-US program. TEFEN seeks accelerating development and potential fielding of the 'Iron Cap' Counter Rocket, Artillery and Mortar (C-RAM) system, which is expected to be ready for operational use within 24 months.