October 1, 2008
The US Defence Department confirmed Tuesday that it has deployed a powerful missile-defence radar system to Israel to help protect the Jewish state from a possible Iranian attack.
The X-band radar will be operated by US personnel and is designed to track medium-and longe-range missile and provide data to an interceptor missile, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said.
‘It more than doubles the range of Israel’s missile defense radars and increases its available engagement time,’ Morrell said.
The United States agreed to send the system to Israel in the wake of Iran’s growing ballistic missile capability.
‘No one in the region should feel more nervous about that threat than the Israelis, and they clearly do, and they’ve asked for our assistance, and we have now provided it,’ Morrell said.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said Israel should be wiped off the map and has refused to comply with UN Security Council demands to suspend work on uranium enrichment, a process that can be used to develop nuclear weapons.
Defense News, a private weekly publication in the United States, first reported the plans to send the X-band system to Israel. The X- band radar is also the planned system set for deployment to the Czech Republic as part of a US missile-defence shield for Europe.
Poland is the selected country to host the interceptor missiles.