Weapons research expedited

The United States and Israel on Monday agreed to advance work on a weapons system that would help Israel defend against short-range ballistic missiles like those launched by Hezbollah during the Lebanon war of 2006.

Gulf News

Washington:  The United States and Israel on Monday agreed to advance work on a weapons system that would help Israel defend against short-range ballistic missiles like those launched by Hezbollah during the Lebanon war of 2006.

The Pentagon's Missile Defence Agency announced the deal late on Monday evening, saying it underscored "the continued commitment of the United States to the defence of Israel".

News of the agreement about the so-called "David's Sling" missile defence project comes amid continued tensions between Israel and Iran, and Russia's decision last week to ban the export of high-precision missile systems and other weapons to Iran.

Army Lieutenant General Patrick O'Reilly, head of the US Missile Defence Agency, signed the agreement with several top-ranking Israeli military officers, including Rear Admiral Ophir Shoham, who heads Israel's defence research agency.

2008 agreement

The agreement continues efforts initiated under a US-Israeli short-range missile defence agreement signed in 2008, the agency said. The new weapons system will help Israel bolster its defences against short-range and theatre ballistic missiles, large-calibre rockets, and cruise missiles, it said.

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