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Israel Could Abandon Own Missiles For US System

The last test of the Arrow defense system, in December 2005, intercepted a missile similar to Iran's Shihab-3, which is capable of reaching Israel, public radio reported.
by Staff Writers
Jerusalem (AFP) Jan 02, 2007
Israel is considering halting the development of a new generation of its Arrow defense missiles due to the high costs involved in favour of US-made missiles, the Haaretz newspaper reported Tuesday. Following negotiations in recent months, Israeli leaders will make a final decision on whether to phase out the Arrow, or Hetz, missiles and opt instead for the US-made THAAD missile defense system in the coming year, it said.

The THAAD missile, made by Lockheed Martin, could be delivered to Israel in 2009, according to sources in Washington quoted by the newspaper.

But the US missile defense system still has to resolve a number of technological bugs, the daily added.

For the time being, Israel is still developing Arrow missiles and is due to carry out a new test.

The last test, in December 2005, intercepted a missile similar to Iran's Shihab-3, which is capable of reaching Israel, public radio reported.

The Arrow project began in 1988, with 80 percent US backing, as part of former US president Ronald Regan's "Star Wars" project that was officially abandoned in 1993.

Since 1991, Arrow development costs have been split equally between Israel and the United States.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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