Morocco, Israel sign defence industry, security agreements

by Charles Forrester

Israeli Minister of Defense Benny Gantz and Moroccan Minister Delegate to the Head of Government in Charge of National Defence Abdellatif Loudiyi at the signing ceremony. (Israeli MoD/Ariel Hermoni)

Morocco and Israel have signed a raft of agreements to bolster defence and security co-operation during the visit by Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Benny Gantz to the north African country.

Following a meeting between Gantz and Abdellatif Loudiyi, Moroccan Minister Delegate to the Head of Government in charge of the National Defence Administration on 24 November, the two signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) covering “exchanges of experience and expertise, technology transfer, training, and co-operation in the field of defence industry”, the official Maghreb Arabe Presse outlet reported.

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US Army conducts Iron Dome flight test

by Ashley Roque

The US Army conducted its second live-fire test with Iron Dome at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. (US Army)

US Army soldiers recently used Rafael Advanced Defense Systems' Iron Dome during a live-fire test against cruise missile threats, the Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) announced on 2 August.

The service acquired two Iron Dome batteries as an ‘interim' cruise missile defence capability following a congressional mandate. However, the service has not yet fielded the weapon and is continuing to test it out.

During the recent test at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment “successfully” detected, tracked, and intercepted multiple cruise missile and unmanned aerial system surrogate targets, according to the IMDO.

“This is the second interception test since the two batteries were supplied to the US Army at the end of 2020,” IMDO Director in the Israeli Ministry of Defense Moshe Patel said in the statement. “In this test as well, the system intercepted all the threats, while being interoperable with US systems.”

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Australia launches review into future military capability

by Julian Kerr

Janes forecasts that Australia's total military expenditure will expand strongly through this decade. (Janes Defence Budgets)

Australia has announced a sweeping defence strategic review that will urgently examine the posture, preparedness, and structure of the country's military and spending on new weapons and equipment from 2023–24 to 2032–33 and beyond.

Announcing the review on 3 August, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said it would be headed by “independent leads” comprising Air Chief Marshal (retd) Angus Houston, defence force chief from 2005 to 2011, and Stephen Smith, defence minister from 2010 to 2013.

The review will be informed by intelligence and strategic assessments, and input will be drawn from internal and external experts, consultations with senior personnel, and submissions from interested parties, said Albanese.

Although recommendations are to be delivered to the government no later than March 2023, Albanese and Defence Minister Richard Marles have requested an interim report as soon as the independent leads have completed their initial analysis.

While the review's terms of reference do not mention China, they state that the world is undergoing “significant strategic realignment”.

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Rolls-Royce sale of ITP Aero clears last regulatory hurdle

by Marc Selinger

ITP Aero is part of the Eurojet consortium, which builds and maintains the EJ200 engine for the Eurofighter Typhoon. (Eurojet)

Rolls-Royce's proposal to sell Spanish subsidiary Industria de Turbo Propulsores (ITP Aero) to a consortium has received Spanish government approval, completing the regulatory review process and paving the way for the EUR1.7 billion (USD1.7 billion) transaction to close “in the coming weeks”, the British engine manufacturer announced on 3 August.

The deal was approved by the Board of Foreign Investments of the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism and the Spanish Council of Ministers, according to a Rolls-Royce spokesperson. “This follows the approval of all other relevant regulatory authorities,” the spokesperson added.

ITP Aero builds commercial and military aircraft engines and has about 4,300 employees. The buyers are led by US-based Bain Capital Private Equity and include Spanish financial services firm JB Capital Markets, and Spanish defence contractor SAPA.

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