Israel and the United States are going to carry out massive joint missile drills in the Negev desert next year as the allies up their military cooperation.
The military maneuvers, codenamed Juniper Cobra, will be held in early 2012 and will include the Arrow 2 and Iron Dome missile systems as well as the THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) and the ship-based Aegis ballistic missile system. The exercise will likely include the actual launch of interceptors from these systems, The Jerusalem Post reported on Tuesday.
“Juniper Cobra shows us how to defend not only with Israeli assets but also with American assets,” Arieh Herzog, head of Israeli Defense Ministry’s Homa Missile Defense Agency, said on Monday at the second Annual Israel Multinational Missile Defense Conference near Tel Aviv.
The Israeli Air Force’s Air Defense Division, the United States Missile Defense Agency and the US Military’s European Command (EUCOM) have held the Juniper Cobra exercise for the past five years. The last Juniper Cobra exercise was held in October 2009.
Last week, Air Force commander in the EUCOM General Mark Welsh visited Israel for talks with Israel Air Force commander Major General Ido Nehushtan, which focused also on the upcoming Juniper Cobra missile exercise.