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THAAD exercise in Israel declared a success

02 April 2019
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US Army soldiers during the closing ceremony held on 25 March for an exercise involving the deployment of a THAAD battery to Israel. A THAAD launcher can be seen on the right, one from the Israeli Arrow system on the left. Source: Captain Aaron Smith / 174 Air Defense Artillery Brigade / US Army

An exercise that involved the rapid deployment of a US Army Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system battery to Israel for the first time was a success, the US military said.

The exercise involved a THAAD battery integrating with Israel's multilayered air defence system and conducting joint ballistic missile defence drills to improve interoperability and readiness.

"The Department of Defense called on them on short notice to rapidly deploy a THAAD system thousands of miles across the globe and then integrate [it] into one of the most complex missile defence architectures in the world; and they delivered in spades," said Major General Andrew Rohling, the deputy commander of US Army Europe.

The US military said the exercise concluded on 25 March, while the Israeli Air Force said the THAAD deployment ended on 31 March.

"The deployment makes us more prepared for real-time situations when US forces deploy in Israel during combat," said IAF Air Defense commander Brigadier General Ran Kochav. "The THAAD battery provides us with additional capabilities in interception. The decision regarding which weapon system should be utilised is made according to the threat at hand."

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