IDF preparing for US missile systems


Regular Member
Aug 3, 2009
The Defense Ministry is preparing for the possibility that the United States will decide to leave missile defense systems in Israel following a joint missile defense exercise the two countries will hold next month, senior officials said.While the US has yet to announce that it will leave systems in place here, the possibility is strong, one official said, particularly in light of reports that the Pentagon was conducting a review of its European missile shield and was leaning towards deploying the systems in Turkey.

The Israeli Air Force's Air Defense Division will hold a joint drill, called Juniper Cobra, with the US Military's European Command (EUCOM) and the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) next month in what is being described as the largest joint exercise ever held by the two countries, during which they will jointly test three different ballistic missile defense systems.

On Monday, Czech Defense Minister Martin Barták will meet with Defense Minister Ehud Barak in Tel Aviv to discuss a wide range of issues, including the Iranian nuclear threat and the US review of the missile shield in Europe.Under the original plan, initiated by the Bush administration, an advanced radar was to be deployed in the Czech Republic and to be connected to some 10 missile interceptors based in Poland. The plan has been met by fierce Russian opposition, which led to the current reevaluation being conducted in Washington.

According to various European news reports, Turkey, Israel and the Balkans are under evaluation as alternative sites for the systems. A senior Israeli defense official told The Jerusalem Post that while the US has not made an official request to deploy the systems here, the topic was being discussed in unofficial channels."There is some sense in deploying additional systems here since the US already has the X-Band radar in the Negev, storehouses with equipment and close cooperation with the IDF," the official said.

Juniper Cobra, which will be held in October in Israel, will include the newly-developed Arrow 2 as well as America's THAAD (Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense) and the ship-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System. While Israel and the US have held Juniper Cobra exercises for the past five years, the upcoming drill is planned to be the most complex and extensive to date.

Meanwhile Sunday, Iranian television claimed that the Iranian military had developed an anti-cruise missile system. Announcing the latest milestone in domestic military-industrial achievements, Air Force Brig.-Gen. Ahmad Miqani said, "[Despite] 30 years of military sanctions by the enemy, the armed forces have taken appropriate steps toward self-sufficiency and have been able not only to update their equipment, but also to achieve wide-ranging progress in the military and aerospace sector."

The Khatam al-Anbiya Air Base, which operates under Miqani's command, coordinates and oversees the nationwide defense of Iran's airspace.Miqani pointed to ongoing improvements of existing systems, domestic construction of dozens of anti-aircraft artillery pieces at a level that is comparable with latest international systems, construction of air defense missiles, and active and passive radars."Today we are able not only to identify stealth cruise missiles, but also to destroy them," he elaborated on Press TV.

ASIAN DEFENCE: IDF preparing for US missile systems
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