July 26, 2010

U.S. Assists Israel in Enhancing Missiles



An Arrow missile during a test launch from an undisclosed location in Israel (AFP)

The Israeli Defense Ministry announced that the United States and Israel on Sunday evening signed an agreement to cooperate in developing Arrow III interceptor missiles and integrate it into Israel’s missile defense system, the Israeli Arrow II to be able to shoot down missiles from a higher altitude.
 
The ministry said that the Arrow III missile will give Israel the ability to deal with threats of long-range ballistic missiles, and give Israel the capability to intercept weapons of mass destruction out of the atmosphere of the Earth.
 
Israeli security sources say that this kind of missiles is in response to the Iranian threat of a Shahab-3 missile attack on Israel. In addition, they said, it can thwart more accurate and dangerous rockets than the Shahab-3.
 
The Arrow is jointly produced by state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries and the American firm Boeing Co. and has absorbed close to $1 billion in direct U.S. funds since its 1988 inception.
 
The Israeli air force said last year that the Arrow III would take more than four years to complete and that would depend on what resources were made available for the project.
 
According to Israeli media, the U.S. has informed Israel that it will provide financial and technical assistance for the development of a new generation of Israeli-made Arrow III missiles, which Tel Aviv considers as the culmination to its multi-layered air defense system.
 
It is noteworthy that in parallel with the Arrow system, Israel is developing the "Iron Dome" system, which it says is to counter missile threats from Hamas and Hezbollah, which was approved by the U.S. Congress in May last year and has absorbed 205 million dollars. 


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