A planned 2012 trial of Israel's ballistic antimissile framework is set to become the largest, most important such drill conducted by the Middle Eastern nation and the United States, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Andrew Shapiro said on Friday (see GSN, Nov. 3).
More than 1,000 U.S. military personnel participated in last year's Juniper Cobra missile defense simulation, making it "the largest U.S.-Israeli military exercise in history," the Israeli Globes website quoted Shapiro as saying in an address to a Washington think tank.
"However, that accolade won’t last long. Because next year, we will combine the U.S. European Command’s premiere annual exercise, Austere Challenge, with the annual iteration of the Juniper Cobra exercise. This will involve more than 5,000 U.S and Israeli forces simulating the ballistic missile defense of Israel, making it by far the largest and the most significant exercise in U.S.-Israeli history," the official said (Ran Dagoni, Globes, Nov. 6).
"We are working to better protect Israel from the threat of short and medium-range missiles," he said in released remarks. "We are enhancing Israel’s Arrow weapon system to counter long-range ballistic missile threats by co-developing the Arrow 3 interceptor" (see GSN, Oct. 11).
"We are upgrading Israel’s Patriot air and missile defense system, which was first deployed during the 1991 Gulf War," he said (see GSN, July 11). "And we have also deployed an advanced radar system to provide Israel early warning of incoming missiles. Furthermore, David’s Sling, a system developed to defend against short-range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles, was developed jointly by Israeli and American companies" (U.S. State Department release, Nov. 4).