Israel's air force is to deploy United States-made Patriot anti-aircraft missiles to cover the air approaches to the Jewish state, with the aim of preventing attacks like the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York, a senior air force officer said in an interview published on Sunday.
AP reported that the decision to place the missiles in the central part of Israel, close to international air lanes, follows a successful simulation in which the missiles' radar locked onto F-16 fighter planes playing the role of hijacked airliners, Brig Gen. Yair Dori said in an interview printed in Israel Air Force Magazine.
"The air attacks that took place in the United States emphasized the airborne terror threat which could also be aimed at population centers in Israel," stated Dori, Head of Israel's anti-aircraft defenses.
"One of the ways we can try to provide maximum defense against this threat is the deployment of Patriot batteries," he said. The article did not provide details with regards to how many batteries would be deployed, or when.
During the 1991 Gulf war, when Iraq fired Scud missiles at Israel, Patriot missile batteries were deployed in an attempt to intercept the incoming Scuds, with limited success. Since then, Israel and the United States have been jointly developing an anti-missile system called Arrow. (Albawaba.com)
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