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US deploys radar system in Israel against Iranian missiles

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DUBAI (BNS): America has stationed a powerful radar system in Israel for early warning about incoming Iranian missiles, it has now been confirmed.

About 120 US personnel are manning the radar system located at an Israeli air force base in southern Negev desert, officials said. The return of the US military personnel to Israel for the first time after the 1991 Gulf war marks yet another disturbing move forward in the tenacious relations between Iran and Israel-US alliance.

Ha'aretz newspaper reported that the deployment is both a means of preventing Israel from taking independent action against Iran as well as to strengthen Israel's defence against missiles if Israel and/or the US attacked Iran's nuclear facilities.

A Pentagon official was quoted by the media as saying that the US wanted “to put Iran on notice that we're bolstering our capabilities throughout the region, and especially in Israel. But just as important, we're telling the Israelis, 'Calm down. Behave. We're doing all we can to stand by you and strengthen defences'.”

The radar is an X-Band (also called phased-array) system made by Raytheon Company, and would help Israel’s Arrow II missile shield to engage an Iranian Shehab-3 missile when it has completed just the first half of its 11-minute journey to Israel. The X-Band radar can track an object as small as a baseball from some 2900 miles away, reports pointed out. The existing Green Pine radar of Israel would take six times more time for such an engagement.

Reports pointed out that information from early-warning satellites, which significantly improves the radar performance, would still be controlled by the US. The ground station of the satellite system would be based in Europe and transmit data to Israel, it said.

American and German sources said 12 US aircraft delivered the system and personnel September 21. The moves come even as reports said Russia may supply the S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Iran.

 


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