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19The threat of drones has been increasing in recent years. Israel and the U.S. which have been at the forefront of air defense cooperation for decades will now cooperate in identifying “capability gaps” of both countries in countering UAVs and seeking out projects to address those gaps to strengthen U.S. and Israeli security.

For the first time, the US National Defense Authorization Act includes a section on such cooperation in countering unmanned aerial systems, in the fiscal 2019 version.

The move envisions funding for research and development efforts and identifying costs that foresee close cooperation modeled on previous successful programs that Israel and the U.S. have collaborated on, including missile defense and anti-tunneling initiatives, according to

The initiative foresees “joint research and development to counter unmanned aerial vehicles [which] will serve the national security interests of the United States and Israel.” The cooperation contains five parts, including identification of the capability gaps that exist, identifying cooperative projects that would address the gaps, assessing the costs of the research and development, and assessing the costs of procuring and fielding the capabilities developed.

A systematic examination of the emerging drone threat is in the works. The U.S. Defense Department has been allocating resources to counter UAVs, with U.S. Central Command requesting up to $332 million over the next five years for efforts to counter drones.

The U.S. Army has been looking for new missiles to defend against a variety of threats, including drones. This will include the Expanded Mission Area Missile and may include other Israel missiles such as the Tamir interceptor for use with a multi-mission launcher.