Israel’s Missile Defense Partnership with the U.S.

January 28, 2012  

The close partnership between the United States and Israel has yielded leading military technologies such as the Arrow anti-ballistic missile defense system that is currently deployed in Israel.

Jointly developed by the two allies, the Arrow is among the world’s most sophisticated missile shields. It is the only operational system that has consistently proven that one missile can shoot down another at high altitudes and supersonic speeds. Israel and the United States are also collaborating on the development of a quickreaction defense system, known as David’s Sling, to address the threats posed by short- and medium-range missiles and rockets.

Similarly, Israel has developed the Iron Dome rocket defense system. Israeli civilians living in cities such as Sderot have been victimized by more than 7,000 indiscriminate rocket and mortar attacks. The Iron Dome, produced by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, uses small radar-guided missiles to blow up incoming Katyusha-style rockets. Recognizing the value of this system, the Obama administration requested, and Congress approved, $205 million to help Israel fund Iron Dome. The system has proven to be a tremendous success and has shot down incoming rockets targeting Israeli schools, homes and communities–saving countless civilian lives.

A centerpiece of the interaction between the two militaries has been combined missile defense training, including the biannual Juniper Cobra exercise. In this maneuver, U.S. and Israeli forces practice cooperative tactics to counter the growing threat from ballistic missiles and long-range rockets.

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