Israel Line Friday, February 12, 1999


The United States and Israel are working out ways to share real-time information on missile defense and link the Arrow 2 anti-ballistic missile to U.S. radar systems, a U.S. general said on Thursday, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. Brig. Gen. Daniel L. Montgomery, the program executive officer for the U.S. Army's Air and Missile Defense, said during a routine inspection of the Arrow 2 missile project that Israel and the U.S. envision interoperability between Israel's Arrow 2 defenses and U.S. units in the area. Montgomery said that a team is working on developing an electronic translation interface known as the Arrow Link 16 upgrade capability. He added that Israel and the U.S. are also working closely to link Arrow 2 with Patriot anti-ballistic missile systems so that any batteries deployed in the region would be able to share data. "I am very impressed with the Israeli effort," Montgomery said. "They are the one nation which has really stepped out in its effort to develop the tactical missile shield. Every [other] nation is always reluctant to provide technical work they do, but there is great sharing between us and Israel." The next and potentially final, if successful, test of the solid-fuel Arrow 2 is scheduled for July. The missile should be deployed in a limited operational capacity by late this year or early 2000. When this happens, Israel will be the only country with anti-ballistic missile capacity. HA'ARETZ reported that the U.S. Defense Department has updated a request for sale of aircraft to Israel. Congress has been asked to approve sale of 110 F-16 I jets to the Israel Air Force, an additional 50 jets to a prior request submitted by Israel last summer. Israel is alternately considering the purchase of 40 F-15 I aircraft instead of its initial request of 30. A third option is a package which would include both F-15 I and F-16 I aircraft. The IAF will decide in two months which planes to buy and in what quantity.