September 22, 2009
Editor’s note: Post reports that the U.S. will leave Arrow, THAAD, Aegis and PAC3 missile defense systems in Israel after drill.
[efoods]US Navy missile ships started arriving in Israel on Sunday ahead of next month’s joint missile defense exercise between the IDF and the American military’s European Command.
Called Juniper Cobra, the exercise will include the Arrow missile defense system as well as three American systems – the THAAD, Aegis and PAC3 – that will all be deployed in Israel for the duration of the exercise.
Defense officials said the exercise would not begin for a few weeks, but that the ships were already arriving to begin preparing the infrastructure for the joint drill, the largest since Israel and the US began holding the biennial Juniper Cobra drill in 2001.
The arrival of the ships began a day before Defense Minister Ehud Barak was scheduled to fly to Washington for talks with his American counterpart, Robert Gates. Defense officials said that their talks would focus on the Iranian threat, Israeli-US defense cooperation as well as the role Israel will play in the new American missile defense shield announced last week.