The joint US-Israeli military drill
reached its pinnacle on Monday with an air defense exercise that saw four Patriot
missiles launched from the central Israeli Palmachim Airbase towards the sea.
Some 2,500 American troops – 1,000 of whom arrived in Israel
– took part in the large-scale maneuver, which has entered its final week. A similar number of Israeli soldiers took part in the event. The joint drill aimed to prepare the armies for a possible massive missile attack from multiple origins. The Arrow 2, Patriot and Iron Dome missile defense systems were activated as part of the maneuver.
The antiaircraft missiles that were launched Monday belong to one of the Israeli Patriot systems, a battery that made its way to Israel from the US during the first Gulf War.
Patriot missile test (Photo: Shaul Golan)
Patriot missiles are test-fired in Israel once every few years. The last such exercise took place two years ago, when the missiles successfully managed to intercepted simulated aircraft.