TEL AVIV, Israel - Following months of concern over the future of the Arrow 3 missile defense system, the U.S. has decided to fully back its development and production in Israel, The Jerusalem Post reported.
The long-awaited decision came after a meeting in Washington on Wednesday, the first between senior Israeli defense officials and the Obama administration staff at the State Department.
Despite concern by Israeli defense officials that America would drop the Arrow 3 project due to cutbacks in the the defense budget, the U.S. has decided to fully fund its development and production.
Defense Ministry Director-General Pinchas Buhris; outgoing U.S. Ambassador Sallai Meridor; and Major-Gen. Benny Gantz, the IDF's (Israel Defense Forces) military attaché to the U.S., represented Israel at the meeting.
Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michelle Flournoy spoke on behalf of the U.S.
The Arrow 3 missile defense system will be able to intercept incoming ballistic missiles from farther distances and at a higher altitude than the Arrow 2 system now in operation.
In a test last month, the Arrow 2 successfully intercepted and destroyed a test missile designed to simulate Iran's Shihab missile.
The IDF is planning to hold a large-scale missile defense exercise, code named Juniper Cobra, which will test three systems: the Arrow, developed and manufactured in Israel; the American-made THADD; and the Aegis.
Source: The Jerusalem Post