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IDF fears elections will again postpone multi-year plan
By YAAKOV KATZ
05/08/2012
“Now that we are in an election year, the uncertainty surrounding the defense budget will likely continue,” senior defense official says.
 
With elections in the air, concern is growing in the IDF that it will again have to delay its planned multi-year procurement plan until the formation of the next government.

Last year, Chief of Staff Lt.- Gen. Benny Gantz drafted the Halamish multi-year budget plan that was supposed to go into effect last summer but has been suspended pending a decision on the extent of cuts to the defense budget.

The plan outlines development and procurement programs for the coming five years and was supposed to replace “Tefen” – the plan in place until 2012.

“Now that we are in an election year, the uncertainty surrounding the defense budget will likely continue,” a senior defense official said on Monday.

In January, the IDF suspended the implementation of the procurement plan after the Treasury announced cuts to the defense budget.

The Halamish plan is expected to continue the investment in IDF ground forces – started after the Second Lebanon War in 2006 – and will see the procurement of additional missile-defense systems – like the Iron Dome and the David’s Sling – as well as new interceptors for the Arrow ballistic missile-defense system.

In new systems, the Artillery Corps is looking to purchase new accurate rocket systems that would provide ground forces with standoff precision attack capabilities without needing to rely on the air force for air support.

The plan is also expected to lead to a dramatic boost in Israel’s intelligence-collection capabilities – with the procurement of new special electronics mission aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles – as well as new defenses for critical military infrastructure from cyber-attacks by countries like Iran.
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