from the March 2006 issue

Boeing joins Israeli anti-missile venture

Boeing has joined forces with an Israeli company to pursue the contract to develop a short-range ballistic missile defense system for Israel.

The U.S. aerospace giant announced that it and Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) would jointly pursue the Short Range Ballistic Missile Defense (SRBMD) project, which Israel wants as a defence against both missiles and long-range artillery rockets.

Next month, the Israeli military will select an Israeli-U.S. industry team for the risk reduction phase of the SRBMD program. The full-scale development and production phases will be a cooperative effort between the Israeli Missile Defence Organization and the U.S. Missile Defence Agency. Boeing and IAI worked together previously on missile defence with the Arrow II, Israel's operational defense system.

"This is an opportunity to build on the exceptional partnership that Boeing and IAI have established through the co-production of the successful Arrow II interceptor," said Debra Rub-Zink, vice president for Boeing Integrated Missile Defence. "It is our privilege to join forces once again with IAI to provide leading edge technology to rapidly and effectively address threats as they evolve."

Boeing did not disclose any details of the proposed technology or the financial commitments. Missile defence is a high priority for Israel, which has weathered not only the Scud launches of the Gulf War, but scores of attacks by smaller rocket fired by Palestinian fighters.

The Arrow II is designed to go after longer-range rockets; however, Israel has aggressively pursued technology to defeat the small shorter-range weapons that pack less punch but require far less time between launch and impact.

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report March 2006

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