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Sunday, May 03, 2009

Anti-missile system operators doing extra reserve duty

JPost reports that the operators of the Arrow and Patriot anti-missile systems are doing extra reserve duty these days and that a massive exercise will be held with the US military 'later this year.' Due to an apparent typographical error in the article, it is not clear how much reserve duty they normally do, but the anti-missile system operators have been called up once a week for the last year to practice different intercept scenarios.
The scenarios that are drilled include the firing of large barrages at Israel from different countries at once, and the need for the operator to decide which missile to intercept first and at what stage of its flight.

"There are difficult dilemmas that the operators face when it comes to missile defense," the officer said.

Last month, the IAF held its 17th test of the Arrow 2 interceptor, shooting down a missile mimicking an Iranian Shihab ballistic missile.

Later this year, the IAF will hold an unprecedented and massive exercise with the US military to jointly test three different ballistic missile defense systems, including the Israeli-made Arrow and the American THAAD and Aegis, which will be brought specially to Israel for the exercise.

The high-powered American X-Band radar, deployed in the Negev Desert in late 2008 as a farewell gift from former President George W. Bush, participated in the recent Arrow test and tracked the incoming target.

Military sources said that it was capable of providing "several minutes" of warning from when a missile is launched from Iran and until it is supposed to land in Israel.
Thank you again George W. Bush. To get the x-band out of this administration, we'd likely have to sacrifice our first-born children (or three neighborhoods in Jerusalem).


At 4:08 PM, Blogger R-MEW Editors said...

Thank you again George W. Bush.My understanding is that the US has denied Israel the right to man the systems supplied by America. Why?

Beware of geeks bearing gifts.

At 5:38 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The point of deploying an anti-missile defense system is to buy Israel time in the event of an operation against Iran. Those minutes may be the crucial difference between the success and the failure of that operation and knowing that fewer civilians are going to die makes it easier for the country's decision-makers to do what has to be done.

At 7:47 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


I discussed that at length when we got the systems (search under "x-band"). Very simply the US doesn't let any other country operate this stuff. The Japanese have the same deal that we do.

That was somewhat acceptable (although the Israelis complained about it even then) when George W. Bush was President. The problem is that under The One, the US government refused to even turn the radar on for Japan when North Korea launched their ballistic missile a few weeks ago (I posted about that as well - search under "North Korea").

At 8:05 PM, Blogger Captain.H said...

The image posted is of the sea-based X-Band Radar System. Here are images of the land-based X-Band Radar Sys.

And regarding the North Korean missile launch, IMO, Gates and Obama refused to use the X-Band Radar for two reasons. One, it'd have proved that the missile was an ICBM, not a satellite launcher and TWO, they'd prefer to be in denial and appeasement of the North Korean on-going ICBM and nuclear weapons programs.

Therein is a very important lesson for Israel. Do not expect any military help from the US under President Obama in terminating the Iranian nuclear weapons program. (Thank G-d Benjamin Netanyahu is now PM of Israel, not Olmert! He will, sooner or later, do what has to be done. And, as with Osirak, Israel will be doing the whole world a favor.)


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