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Riki Ellison speaking at the 2017 Israel Air & Missile Defense Conference in Tel Aviv, Israel on July 24, 2017.

The prosperity, economic growth, and wellbeing of Israel is thriving, unmatched and unsurpassed in its modern history, making it a truly remarkable state resolved by the resilience of its people. Israel and its seven million people are ranked the 33rd economy in the world today.

Yet, no other country in the world has a daily life surrounded geographically in a tough and threatening neighborhood that has fired over 10,000 rockets and missiles with an intent to disrupt, harm and kill their people on their soil within the past decade. Israel’s thriving economy and abundance of life for its people, is in the reality of constantly growing threats of rockets and missiles with an intent to kill that come from near and far – from within Gaza, from the South, from the North and from the East of its borders. Israel has defended and defeated rockets and missiles with systems in place today, that stand watch to guard and have nullified capabilities to disrupt their lives, prospering economy and lifestyle.

Israel is the stalwart life partner of the United States and is the most powerful strategic ally of the United States in this region. This has been the case since the inception of Israel and it remains vital today in the security of this region that finds ISIS, Russia immersed and embedded in Syria, and Iran and its support of anti-Israel terrorist groups.

The United States associates with Israel for its national security and Israel associates with the United States for its national security.

With the rocket and missile threat of the 1970s and 1980s spurred by the Cold War, President Ronald Reagan put forward the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) and reached out to thirteen nations to participate. Israel was one of the thirteen and in 1986 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United States, which produced the Arrow missile defense system that is in place with modernization and evolution today, defending the state of Israel. This Arrow precedent set the course for full co-development, partnership and technology collaboration as well as the resources between the Missile Defense Agency of the United States and the Israel Missile Defense Organization to develop, test, prove, deploy, and evolve the best layered missile defense operational system in the defense of a nation state in the world today. A system that has defeated over 2,000 rockets successfully in sustained combat to defend Israel and let thousands upon thousands more that were not deemed life threatening, fall harmlessly to the ground.

Here are the four layers of Israel’s missile defense system that were all co-developed, resourced and collaborated between the United States and Israel.

The Arrow interceptor program became operational in 2000, since then it evolved into Arrow 2, a Endo- and Exo-atmosphere fragmentation interceptor for defeating medium-range missiles that use the Green Pine radars. (Click here to learn more about Arrow 2. Click here to learn more about Green Pine radars)

The Iron Dome interceptor program became operational in 2011, a fragmentation interceptor for defeating short range rockets, mortars and missiles that use the MMR radars. (Click here to learn more about Iron Dome. Click here to learn more about MMR.)

The David’s Sling interceptor program became operational on April 2nd, 2017. A hit to kill, kinetic energy interceptor for short- to medium-range ballistic missiles as well as simple to complex maneuvering cruise missiles that uses the MMR and Aerostat Sensors. (Click here to learn more about David’s Sling. Click here to learn more about MMR.)

The Arrow 3 interceptor program has a soft but not declared operational capability with the first delivery of the interceptors on January 18, 2017. A hit to kill, kinetic energy interceptor for intermediate-range ballistic missiles – that could be launched from Iran – uses the Green Pine and TPY-2 radars. (Click here to learn more about Arrow 3. Click here to learn more about Green Pine radars. Click here to learn more about TPY-2 radars.)

This world elite and formidable shield of layered missile defense systems provides Israel with their own dependence on defending their nation as they see best and most efficient, with their command and control capability to determine their best shooter, leveraging their air picture from the sensors. Israel is and has the ultimate forward operating base (FOB) missile defense protection in the world today. In addition, because of the national security importance of Israel, the United States provides surging missile defense capability from its Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) ships in the Mediterranean Sea, Patriot Batteries from the 10th AAMDC and the 32nd AAMDC, and a THAAD Battery from the 32nd AADMC. These are all exercised together for integration and interoperability in the world’s biggest bilateral missile defense exercise that is done every two years called the Cobra Juniper (link). Further because of the limitations of the test ranges in Israel, the Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska (PSCA) on Kodiak Island will be used by MDA and IMDO in the future to test the THAAD, Arrow and David Sling integration.

The United States tremendous investment of billions of dollars in co-development and technical collaboration sharing in all of these Israel missile defense systems should be leveraged for efficiency in cost, technology, reliability and deployment in direct applications to the United States integrated air and missile defense systems and solutions. In particular, the Iron Dome for the air defense of the United States maneuvering force and fixed FOB defense, as well as the David Sling interceptor for deployment and added mix into the United States Patriot systems. Saving billions of U.S. tax dollars in fixed research and development costs, as well as direct acquisition costs.

Even more stunning than the stunner, is leveraging the importance of how prosperous and safe the beaches of Tel Aviv are for the millions and millions of people around the world that visit and live in Israel and enjoy the economic growth benefits of a layered missile defense system against a clear and present missile threat. Maybe the beaches of Honolulu and the state of Hawaii, along with the Hawaii delegation who are concerned about the economic prosperity and safety for those that visit them from around the world and live in Hawaii should take a visit to Tel Aviv.

We were honored to touch and feel the prosperity of Israel over these past few days and remain steadfast in our advocacy for the support of missile defense for Israel

Mazel tov

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Mission Statement

MDAA’s mission is to make the world safer by advocating for the development and deployment of missile defense systems to defend the United States, its armed forces and its allies against missile threats.

MDAA is the only organization in existence whose primary mission is to educate the American public about missile defense issues and to recruit, organize, and mobilize proponents to advocate for the critical need of missile defense. We are a non-partisan membership-based and membership-funded organization that does not advocate on behalf of any specific system, technology, architecture or entity.