US to boost missile defense with Israel

$205 million to finance joint projects for systems against Iranian arms.

Arrow launch 2007 298.88 (photo credit: IAI)
Arrow launch 2007 298.88
(photo credit: IAI)
The US House of Representatives authorized a sum of 205 million dollars for financing joint US-Israel missile defense system projects, Israel Radio reported early Saturday morning. The sum, part of a $504 billion defense spending bill passed Thursday, will be directed to projects currently being developed in Israeli factories. According to the report, the defense systems are meant to be able to withstand ballistic missiles developed by Iran. Within this framework, $25 million will be added to the production of Arrow missiles, $45 million will be provided for developing David's Sling, a missile defense system that is capable of intercepting medium-range rockets and $135 million will buy the ground-based Theater High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. In March, an improved Arrow missile, with modifications to its hardware and electronics, was successfully test-fired at at Palmahim Air Force Base south of Ashdod. The test, which took only one minute, cost close to NIS 15 million and was overseen by the Defense Ministry's Homa Missile Defense Agency. The purpose of Monday's test was to launch the missile in a fly-out (where a missile is fired without intercepting a target) and gather information on its flight and performance. The data will be evaluated by the Israel Aerospace Industries Arrow team, led by Yoav Turgeman, and applied to continued development. Turgeman told The Jerusalem Post that the improvements to the missile not only reduced manufacturing costs - by some 20 percent - but also improved its ability to intercept incoming ballistic threats.