A US military officer said Tuesday that a major missile defense exercise staged by American and Israeli forces will help the development of a planned NATO missile shield for Europe.
Some 2,000 US and Israeli personnel are holding maneuvers this week and next to test technology that would protect Israel from a missile attack, setting up radar arrays along the coast and deploying naval vessels offshore. The allies plan to conduct a live-fire test during the exercise.
US Army Col. Tony English told reporters visiting a coastal battery on the edge of Tel Aviv on Tuesday that it was the first major exercise integrating THAAD and Patriot ground-to-air missiles and the ship-launched Aegis system.
"This is the most complete air missile defense system we've ever done anywhere in the world," he said.