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.

Python-4-Air-to-Air Missile

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.


  • Simon: A system used to access buildings with locked or barricaded doors without endangering U.S. troops or the people inside.
  • AN/PRC-149 Radio Set and AN/URT-140 Radio Beacon Set: Radio sets signal search and rescue satellites, which in turn beam the location of lost personnel to every receiving station within range.
  • SINCGARS Tactical Communications: Employing a number of high-tech Israeli electronic components, this is the most widely used tactical radio in the U.S. Army inventory.
  • Marine Amphibious Vehicle Armor Upgrade: An add-on layer of non-reactive armor tiles, this system greatly improves the survivability of U.S. Marine Corps amphibious assault vehicles.
  • Mine Plows: Both the U.S. army and the Marine Corps have attached these armored plows to the front end of their tanks, enabling the lead tank in a column to push land mines aside, thus allowing safe passage for the rest of the vehicles.
  • CLAMS: Used by U.S. Marine Corps tank crews in the Gulf War, this system enabled columns of tanks to navigate safely through enemy minefields.
  • UZI 9mm Submachine Gun: The U.S. Secret Service currently uses this world-renowned automatic weapon.
  • B300/SMAW Bunker-Busting Missile: The U.S. Marine Corps procured this missile for use in destroying deeply buried and hardened concrete-reinforced bunkers.
  • Towed Assault Bridge: Both the U.S. Army and Marine Corp attached these devices to their tanks, enabling a single tank to cross obstacles up to approximately 30 feet wide without any additional assistance.


  • Pioneer UAV: Used in Kosovo, this remote-controlled surveillance aircraft enables operators to see targets and conduct bomb damage assessment day or night, and through smoke, fog or dust.
  • Tactical Air-Launched Decoy: The TALD, used extensively by the U.S. Navy in the Gulf war, is an unpowered glider used to confuse and thwart enemy ground and airborne radar operators, thus protecting U.S. pilots.
  • Vertical Launch System (VLS): Used extensively by the U.S. Navy in the Gulf war, these launchers sent sea-to-sea, sea-to-air, and anti-submarine and Tomahawk cruise missiles from the bellies of the U.S. Navy cruisers into action against Iraqi targets.

Air Warfare

  • Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System: This system allows fighter pilots to target enemy aircraft by using a display within their helmet to guide the missiles at the target they are looking at, rather than having to maneuver their aircraft into an attack position.
  • Night Targeting System (NTS): The NTS is used on U.S. Marine Corps Cobra attack helicopters and allows the Cobra pilots to operate day or night, in good and bad weather. It also provides automatic targeting, easing the gunner's workload in flight.
  • Helicopter Crash Survival Seats: These seats drastically reduce the effects of a helicopter crash by absorbing much of the crash's energy, resulting in fewer injuries and fatalities.
  • Light Defender SEAD System: Designed to suppress enemy air defense capabilities, this highly versatile precision munition can find and destroy enemy air defenses even when they are non-transmitting or silent. It can also be retargeted in flight.
  • 600 Gallon Fuel Tanks: This external fuel tank greatly increases the range of U.S. and Israeli F-16 fighter-bombers.
  • Kfir Fighter Aircraft: Designed and developed in Israel in the early 1980s, this fighter was loaned to the United States for use in simulated combat missions and training.

Source: AIPAC