Jerusalem – According to a report published in Defense News this week, the United States and Israel have signed an agreement to deploy the “X-band FBX-T” early-warning missile radar system, which is linked to a U.S. satellite-based alert network.
Deployment of the X-band comes as part of America’s agreement to help defend the Jewish State against any future strike by a nuclear-armed Islamic Republic.
For the first time ever, military personnel from the U.S. European Command are to be permanently based in Israel, in order to staff the high-powered radar system, built by the Raytheon Company.
Although the original target date for the system’s debut was early 2009, it is likely that the date will be moved up to some time this fall, in order to allow personnel to integrate the system with the Arrow missile defense system.
The new system is expected to double – and possibly triple – the range of identification of incoming missiles aimed at the Jewish State, according to a spokesman for the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency (M.D.A.). The official said the X-band system can track an object the size of a baseball from a distance of more than 2,000 kilometers.
The system currently employed by the IDF, a component of the Arrow system dubbed “Green Pine,” has a range of only 500-600 miles. Once the “X-band” is integrated with the Arrow system that range of identification will expand to 2,000 kilometers.
The new range allows the Israeli public a window of approximately five minutes in which to prepare for a Shehab-3 ballistic missile attack from Iran. It similarly gives the Israeli army about five minutes in which to intercept the Iranian missiles.
David Bedein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His Web site is www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com
©The Bulletin 2008