US will likely support, help finance development of Arrow 3

The US Defense Department will likely support and help finance the development of the Arrow 3 missile defense system, head of US Missile Defense Agency Lt. Gen. Henry Obering III told Israeli defense officials he met with Wednesday in Tel Aviv. Obering was in Israel on a three-day visit, during which he met with head of Homa Missile Defense Agency Arieh Herzog, head of IAF Commander Maj.-Gen. Ido Nehushtan, head of Air Defense Forces Brig.-Gen. Daniel Milo, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, as well as with officials from the Israeli Aerospace Industries. Israel is seeking close to $150 million to fund the project. The decision to develop the missile system, as opposed to purchasing the American-made THAAD (Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense) missile defense system, was made by the Defense Ministry in April. Officials said Israel's capability to intercept enemy ballistic missiles would significantly improve with the development of the Arrow 3, which is the most advanced version in terms of speed, range and altitude.