Israel announced in late December it had finalised a deal with the U.S. that would bring several thousand American troops and two advanced missile systems to the country for an unprecedented defence drill.It was big news coming amid the blaze of tensions mounting with Iran in the Strait of Hormuz, but then, the drill was cancelled.
Now, Elad Benari at Israeli News reports that Austere Challenge 12 is back on the books for October and U.S. officers begin arriving in Israel next week to prepare.
The U.S. will to deploy its theatre High Altitude Area defence (THAAD) missile system and its ship based Aegis system to simulate intercepting an incoming salvo into Israel. The two systems will work in conjunction with Israel’s Arrow, Patriot, and Iron Dome missile systems.
While preparations are made, Israel plans to move its Iron Dome batteries in the coming months to counter rocket attacks, and stationing additional batteries in Haifa to guard oil refineries there.
Israel is also increasing its missile development budget for FY 2012 to include three new Iron Dome batteries along its northern and southern borders.
Jerusalem also just concluded successful field test of its Arrow-3 missile system and announced a partnership with Boeing to establish the Arrow as a top-notch anti-ballistic missile system.
Alon Ben David at Aviation Week reports the Arrow-3 is capable of taking down incoming missiles from far enough away that multiple attempts are possible, allowing for a greater chance of success.