Secretary Frank A. Rose Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance today said Obama Administration is committed to missile defense cooperation with Israel.
At 2nd Annual Israel Multinational Missile Defense Conference in Israel, Mr. Rose said missile defense plays an important role in the broader U.S. international security strategy, supporting both defense and diplomacy.
“Missile defense assures our allies and partners that the United States has the will and the means to deter and, if necessary, defeat a potential ballistic missile attack against friends, partners, the U.S. homeland, and our forward deployed troops and assets.” -Mr. Rose
He pointed out that missile defense also may help constrain regional actors from trying to inhibit or disrupt the U.S. ability to come to the defense or assistance of its friends or other states.
“Turning now to U.S. missile defense cooperation with Israel, a subject of immediate interest to this audience, let me begin by saying that our missile defense cooperation with Israel is separate from our efforts in Europe but robust, enduring, and unshakable.” -Mr. Rose
He said Israel was one of the first U.S. partners in missile defense, and the Obama Administration is committed to missile defense cooperation with Israel.
Mr. Rose stated that Hizballah and Hamas (particularly the former) are capable of conducting irregular warfare campaigns that include, in the case of Hizballah, launching thousands of short-range rockets into Israeli population centers. Hizballah is attempting to expand its reach and effects by acquiring rockets with greater range and accuracy.
“Because we understand the serious nature of the threat, we are working with Israel on a number of missile defense activities to address these threats, from plans and operations to specific programs.” -Mr. Rose
Mr. Rose discussed the plans and operations to address the threats to Israel.
According to Mr. Rose, since 2001, Israel and the United States have conducted a joint biennial exercise, called Juniper Cobra, to work on integrating interceptors, radars, and other systems.
He added that the United States and Israel continue to meet regularly and coordinate extensively on a wide range of missile defense issues.
Another program is the Arrow Weapons System which provides Israel with an indigenous capability to defend against short- and medium-range ballistic missiles.
He noted that earlier this year, Israel and the United States successfully detected, tracked, and intercepted a ballistic target missile using the Arrow Weapon System.
“This system continues to be jointly developed, with the United States and Israel co-manufacturing the Arrow-2 system and working closely together on the more powerful Arrow-3. The Arrow-3 will enable Israel to engage threat missiles at even greater ranges and at higher-altitudes, a capability that is particularly effective against potentially WMD- armed ballistic missiles.” -Mr. Rose
He noted that in September 2008, the United States and Israel worked together closely to deploy an AN/TPY-2 radar to Israel. The powerful radar is linked to U.S. early warning satellites, and intended to enhance Israel’s defense and missile detection capabilities.
“The United States and Israel are co-developing the “David’s Sling” Weapon System (DSWS) to defend against short-range rocket and missile threats falling below the optimal capability for Israel’s Arrow interceptor.” -Mr. Rose
Mr. Rose also stated that earlier this year, the U.S. Congress authorized over $200 million in support for Israel’s Iron Dome interceptor system. He said the funds will be used by Israel to purchase more of these defensive systems, which showed their effectiveness in April when they successfully shot down eight rockets fired from Gaza. He added the system is designed to counter short-range missiles and rockets, and has already been successfully deployed this year.