Hebrew daily "Yediot Ahronot" reports that the Ministry of Defense will stop procurements of the Iron Dome anti-missile system, due to cuts in the defense budget.
Ministry of Defense director general Udi Shani notified Iron Dome's manufacturer, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. that it will not procure another Iron Dome battery. The IDF currently operates three batteries, and the Ministry of Defense had planned to procure two more.
Shani notified his US counterparts of the decision, saying that it was due to budget constraints. A defense official said that US aid did not meet all the requirements, and that the Ministry of Defense will have to make up one third of the expenditure from its shekel budget.
An IDF source said, "The current budget sends the Army back to 2003, when the IDF trained less than in any year." Last week, "Yediot Ahronot" reported that the IDF cancelled a division-level exercise and five brigade-level exercises.
Ministry of Defense said in response, "In the economic reality, the budget is insufficient to complete procurement of the batteries. This issue will be submitted to the cabinet shortly."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 12, 2012
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2012