U.S. signs deal to finish missile intercept system

The U.S. Department of Defense and Israel’s Defense Ministry have signed a deal on to finish the development of the ballistic missile intercept system known as the Arrow 3.

The Arrow 3's ability to destroy missiles between the boundary between the earth’s atmosphere and outer space will reduce the threat of missiles that may carry chemical or biological weapons. It also allows for a second attempt to destroy a missile to be made should the first attempt fail, IsraelNationalNews.com reports.

The Arrow 3 system, which is intended to be capable of destroying incoming ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction 100 kilometers above the surface of the earth, IsraelNationalNews.com reports, would replace the aging U.S. Patriot missile system and is considered to be the most advanced missile defense system yet created.

This development stage in the missile system’s development is expected to take three years to finish at a cost of approximately $100 million. It will face its first test in early 2011. Researchers hope to have the system fully operational no later than 2012. The U.S. has supported the project for 20 years.

On hand to sign the agreement were Brigadier-General Ofir Shoham, head of the Ministry of Defense MAFAT Research and Development, and Lieutenant-General Patrick O'Reilly, head of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency.

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