The U.S. government has revealed details of a top-secret Israeli military base, angering officials in Tel Aviv.The Obama administration had pledged to build a state-of-the-art military facility for Israel to house a new defense base. The Arrow 3 ballistic armament is considered the “world’s first operational national missile defense system,” and as with all Defense Department projects, detailed specifications were made public in order for contractors to bid on the $25 million project. The published particulars included more than a 1,000 pages of data on the facility, ranging from heating/cooling systems to the thickness of walls.
According to an Israeli military official who declined to be named,
“If an enemy of Israel wanted to launch an attack against a facility, this would give him an easy how-to guide. This type of information is closely guarded and its release can jeopardize the entire facility. This is more than worrying, it is shocking.”
But Lt. Col. Peleg Zeevi, the head of the bidding process at Israel’s Defense Ministry claimed Israel was well aware of the dangers of outsourcing building projects to the U.S.
“We are aware of the security issues that arise in deals with foreign firms, but because we want real competition and expertise, we will create conditions that will allow and encourage their participation.”
Apparently Israeli officials were caught off guard by the sheer scope of the published details regarding the facility at Tel Shahar. The base is classified as top secret and Tel Aviv won’t even officially confirm its exact location.
Jane’s Defence Weekly was first to recount specs of the Arrow 3, a defense system designed to intercept ballistic missiles outside the Earth’s atmosphere. Expected to be operational by 2015, the system includes “six interceptors in a vertical launch position…encased [with] high-grade concrete reinforced with steel mesh grids.”
“We want to reach a situation in which Israel has a ready defense for any threat, present or future,” said Col. Aviram Hasson, the head of the Defense Ministry department that’s charged with developing the system.