Israel put the Arrow anti-missile missile it is developing jointly with the United States on display for the first time Monday.
An orange-and-black nose cone peeked out of a cluster of six gray tubes that pointed skyward from a mobile launcher at the Tel Aviv Fair Grounds. A sign described the system as the "defense wall of Israel."The Arrow was shown as part of a Jubilee exhibit marking the 50th anniversary of Israel's founding. Brig. Gen. Zion Sapir estimated that the Arrow would be deployed within two years.
The Arrow system, which was originally scheduled to become operational this year, is scheduled for a further test firing this fall.
The United States has so far contributed about $250 million toward the program, which is intended to defend against Scud missile attacks like those Iraq unleashed on Israel in the Persian Gulf War.
Total system costs are estimated at $1.6 billion, with the United States picking up two-thirds of the tab.
In March, Secretary of Defense William Cohen announced the United States would help pay for a third anti-missile defense battery in Israel because of "growing missile proliferation" in the Middle East.
Last month, Iran successfully tested a Shahab 3 missile capable of reaching Israel.
Also on display for the first time was the Gil anti-tank rocket and the Tabor, or Bull Pup, assault rifle that is lighter and shorter than its predecessors.