TEL AVIV, October 21 (RIA Novosti)
The Israeli and United States armed forces started their largest-ever joint air defense and anti-missile exercise on Sunday, involving thousands of service personnel and the two nation's principal air defense missile systems, the Israeli Army told RIA Novosti.
The Austere Challenge exercises, taking place in Israel and the neighboring waters, involve 3,500 Americans and over 1,000 Israelis. Preparations for the war games have taken two years and "are in no way connected to current events taking place in the Middle East," the two allies say.
The US forces will test their Patriot ground-based and naval Aegis air defense systems, while Israel will test its Hetz-2 (Arrow) missile, which, like Patriot, is designed to intercept ballistic missiles. Israel will also test its Iron Dome system which is designed to take on the short-range rockets which are regularly fired into Israel from Gaza.
Most of the exercise will consist of command and control drills in a simulated environment but will include some live firing. The exercise has cost the US $30 million and Israel $8 million.
Add to blog
You may place this material on your blog by copying the link.
Image Galleries: The First Woman in Space, Valentina Tereshkova
Infographics: Group of Eight: Countries and Permanent Members
Cartoons: Polar Explorer Day
News that Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin would resign in order to run for the mayoral election in September came as quite a shock. Sobyanin’s political potential is fairly dubious, not to mention his approval ratings. He has not finished many of the projects he initiated and the electoral effect from these projects is expected to come a bit later than September 2013. Sobyanin’s opponents were not entirely unprepared for this blitzkrieg.