Stuttgart, Germany: The recent Israeli Arrow-2 anti-ballistic missile test involved the use of a powerful US X-Band radar that was deployed to that country from Europe in October last year. According to a US European Command statement the radar is intended to give Israel early warning in the event of a missile launch from Iran.
The US EUCOM statement clarified that the Israel assignment was not a permanent one for the radar but would be operated by US troops as long as it remained deployed in Israel.
"The actual length of time has not been determined," EUCOM said in a statement. "The US and Israel will continue to monitor the security environment in the region and will base any decisions on radar deployment on a thorough analysis of Israel's missile defense requirements. We are focused on the mission, not the calendar."
The statement said the Army/Navy Transportable Radar Surveillance system was made available at the request of Israel's government. It also said a mix of troops and Defense Department contractors managed the day-to-day operation of the radar, which was situated at Nevatim air base in the Negev Desert.
According to the military, the radar is purely defensive and useful against medium- and long-range ballistic missile attacks.
Last Monday, Israel conducted a test of an upgraded version of the Arrow anti-missile system that involved shooting down a rocket that simulated Iran's Shahab missile. This was the first Israeli test to include the US radar.
"The radar is considered to be one of the most powerful defensive systems available and its performance and the performance of everyone on the US and Israel team are doing exceptionally well in promoting regional security and providing a useful deterrent to any attack," EUCOM stated.
The system is reportedly capable of tracking a baseball-size object from a distance of 2,900 miles.
The radar is expected to allow Israel to activate its missile-defence system rapidly in the event of an attack.