Israel, U.S. to hold defense drill

July 26, 2011 at 7:19 AM

JERUSALEM, July 26 (UPI) -- Israel and the United States plan a joint missile defense exercise next year to improve operational coordination of defense systems, officials said.

Both the Arrow 2 and Iron Dome missile defense systems, as well as America's Terminal High Altitude Area Defense and the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System, will participate in the drill involving the actual launch of interceptors, The Jerusalem Post said Tuesday.

Last week, Gen. Mark Welsh, Air Force commander in the United States European Command, visited Israel for talks with Israeli counterpart Maj.-Gen. Ido Nehushtan on the upcoming Juniper Cobra exercise, the newspaper said.

Officials said the exercise, scheduled for early 2012, will be one of the most extensive and complex drills conducted since the United States and Israel began holding them five years ago, the Post said.

The aim of the exercise is to create the necessary infrastructure to enable interoperability of Israeli and American missile defense systems in the event of conflict with Iran, the paper said.

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