cookin’ with x-band radar

US radar in Israel might be trained on Russia
Israel Today, Oct 3 2008

A Time Magazine article citing Israeli military officials suggests a sophisticated long-range American radar system about to be deployed in Israel may be less about providing early warning of an Iranian missile attack, and more about hemming in Russia. The radar base will be the first permanent deployment of foreign troops on Israeli soil in the country’s short 60-year modern history. Initial reports were that Washington offered the early-warning radar to Israel as compensation for not supporting plans to preemptively attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. But Time learned that Israel will not have direct access to the data collected by the radar, and will only be fed intelligence second-hand on a need-to-know basis by the Americans. That means Israel will not know whether the radar is trained on Iran or southern Russia. Furthermore, the US tried to obtain permission to deploy the radar in Turkey and Jordan earlier this year, but was rebuffed by those nations. Now top Israeli military officials are concerned that the deployment of the radar in Israel will elicit the same Russian anger as the recent deployment of similar systems in Poland and the Czech Republic. Washington said the radars were to defend against an Iranian attack on Europe, but Moscow remains convinced that its own strategic forces are the target and threatened to add both Poland and the Czech Republic to its list of missile targets in response. The Israelis fear the Jewish state will now make that same list. Additionally, Russia could respond to the deployment of the American radar by selling advanced defensive and offensive weapons systems to Iran and Israel’s Arab enemies.


  1. moonkoon
    Posted October 5, 2008 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    “… more about hemming in Russia.”

    Yeah sure, and I’m the Queen of Sheba.

  2. niqnaq
    Posted October 5, 2008 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    The Time Magazine article does confirm this, moonkoon: “Israeli military sources say that Barak requested the radar from US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in July, ***after US requests to station such a system in Turkey and Jordan were rejected***. Barak was eager to acquire the advantage of the early warning that the system would provide in the event of a possible Iranian attack.”

  3. Niggler
    Posted October 5, 2008 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Putin, sorry, Medvedev, must be loving this.
    It’s becoming reminiscent of the post-robbery cognac and cigar scene in The Thomas Crown affair.

  4. Posted October 5, 2008 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    Israelis are complaining the Americans will discover their air force secrets, coz the americans will see the IAF planes in the sky.

    Here’s a quiz:
    How many missiles are trained on Israel?

  5. Niggler
    Posted October 6, 2008 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    The nice thing about Israel’s US-supplied X-Band radar gift is that the Middle East’s only racist democracy doesn’t have any Missile Defense capability and can’t refuse the installation. It made itself a target by encouraging the annihilation of its existentially threatening neighbors and forgetting that the neighbors have powerful nuclear-armed friends – not the kind of willful myopia one would expect of a one bomb country.

    There’s probably something we’re not being told about X-Band. Superficially, it’s like all of the other ‘enhanced’ WWII technology embraced by America; it advertises its presence and availability as a first-strike target. Here’s’s piece on a permanent installation off Alaska,

  6. moonkoon
    Posted October 6, 2008 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    X-band in the Negev is no good for detecting Iranian (or Russian) missile launches, the wavelength is too short.
    It is not “over the horizon” which can only utilize the ionosphere reflecting 3 – 30 MHz “shortwave” band.

    The X-band frequency range is from 7 to 12.5 GHz

    The equipment they are installing is micro-wavelength, high resolution, phased array and directional (120degree arc).
    It is adjacent to what looks like a military facility, (missile base?).
    Just the ticket for alerting the anti-missile system that it will be connected to if their is a launch close by, maybe as close as the military base that is adjacent to the radar site.
    Search for Har Keren on Google Earth.
    More discussion here,

  7. moonkoon
    Posted October 6, 2008 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    the Israelis are calling it “golden handcuffs”.

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