Israel Military Industries (IMI) and Lockheed Martin have signed a deal to develop jointly the Light Defender stand-off weapon. The move follows the collapse of talks between Boeing and IMI earlier this year (Flight International, 26 May-1 June).

Lockheed Martin has significant offset commitments to Israeli defence companies related to the sale of F-16s and it has signed numerous deals with Israeli firms, many of which broaden the US giant's missile portfolio.

Lockheed Martin and Israeli companies have agreed to joint development of the Popeye/AGM-142 Have Nap stand-off weapon and marketing of the Python 4 infrared-guided short range air-to-air missile. They have also agreed Lockheed Martin Sander/Elisra co-marketing of electronic warfare systems and F-16 upgrade programmes. IMI needs a US partner to sell the Light Defender to the US Air Force.

The Light Defender, also known as the Star-1, is understood to be a warhead-equipped development of the Delilah decoy. The jet-powered Delilah is a manoeuvring loitering decoy, 2.7m (8ft) long and with a 1.15m wingspan. As a decoy, it is fitted with a Luneberg lens or a radio-frequency repeater to increase its radar cross section and apparent size on radars.

Flying at Mach 0.8, it has a 400km (215nm) range and weighs about 180kg (400lb), allowing it to be carried on standard fighter hardpoints. It can be launched at altitudes of 500-30,000ft.

Source: Flight International