Defense

August 2, 2012

Iron Dome System demonstrates U.S-Israeli partnership

Tags:
by Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak brief the press at an Iron Dome anti-missile site in Ashkelon, Israel, Aug. 1, 2012. Panetta is on a five-day trip to the region to meet with leaders in Tunisia, Egypt, Israel and Jordan.

ASHKELON, Israel – After passing through an orchard of fruit-laden apple trees and passing fields of corn and vegetables, it’s jarring to come across a rocket launcher.

But that’s the scene near this southern Israeli city.

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak visited with Israeli air force personnel protecting Ashkelon from terrorist attacks. The city is less than 10 miles away from Gaza, and terrorists there have launched hundreds of missiles and mortar rounds into Israel.

The rocket launcher, radar and battle management and control module in this pasture are part of the Iron Dome network designed to track and shoot down missiles fired at Israeli cities.

This is a country constantly on its guard, even as regular workaday life continues. About 200 meters from the battery are apartment buildings with wash hanging off the balconies and a beautifully appointed playground. Farmers work in the fields, and cars whiz by on the Israeli version of an interstate. These are targets for the terrorists who use Gaza as a launching point.

The system has shot down scores of missiles that would have killed Israeli citizens since it was fielded in April 2011. During a joint news conference with Barak at the battery, Panetta said Iron Dome “has been a game changer for Israel’s security. It has saved Israeli lives.” Barak said it has a more than 80 percent success rate.

The battery also is a concrete example of how the U.S.-Israeli defense partnership works. The Israelis developed Iron Dome, and the United States has committed more than $205 million to fielding the system. Last week, President Barack Obama signed a law providing another $70 million to field more batteries this fiscal year. Panetta said his goal is to ensure Israel has the funding it needs in coming fiscal years to complete fielding the system.

But the defense relationship is more than just one system. Panetta said the defense relationship – based on shared values and goals – “is stronger than it has ever been before.”

The partnership between the two nations is more important today because of the security challenges arising from the region, the secretary said. Syria, Iran and the threats of terrorism and nuclear and missile proliferation are just some of the challenges facing the region and the world.

“Our ties with the United States have expanded in a range of areas including intelligence, high-tech and securing the qualitative military edge of Israel,” the Israeli defense minister said. “The defense relationship underpins greater and wider cooperation between the two countries.”

Another example of the U.S. commitment to Israel is Israel’s involvement in the joint strike fighter program, the secretary said.

“Israel is the only country in the Middle East participating in this program,” Panetta said. “This will ensure Israel’s air superiority for years to come.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines September 19, 2014

News: McKeon on broader military authorization: Anything can ‘fail or pass’ - Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said if Congress returns after the midterm elections to weigh a broader military authorization for the battle against Islamic State, it might not pass. Defense contractor gets 7 years for giving secrets...
 
 

News Briefs September 19, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,203 As of Sept. 16, 2014, at least 2,203 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,823 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result...
 
 

Pratt & Whitney, U.S. Air Force complete qualification for F135 engine testing

Pratt & Whitney, a United Technologies Corp. , together with its U.S. Air Force partner at the F135 Heavy Maintenance Center at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., celebrated another significant milestone qualification for F135 engine testing at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex. OC-ALC which in addition to engine testing is also qualified to perform...
 

 
Navy photograph

Triton has first cross-country flight from Palmdale

Northrop Grumman photograph The MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System takes off from Northrop Grummanís Palmdale, Calif., facility Sept. 17 for its first cross-country flight to Naval Air Station Patuxent, River, Md. PALMDALE,...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic

Future of NATO: Adapting to a new security environment

Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic Gen. Phillip Breedlove informs the assembled crowd about the results of the recent NATO Summit and the areas of instability that affect Europe that have regional implications. Seated in...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash

AFRL commander describes Air Force’s technology vision

Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash Maj. Gen. Thomas Masiello takes a question from an audience member after discussing Air Force Research Laboratory breakthrough technologies during the 2014 Air Force Association’s Air ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>