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Israel Provided West Germany with Possible Faulty Defense System

Israel was the major supplier of a sophisticated electronics defense system for a West German jet fighter plane, a Defense Ministry spokesman confirmed Tuesday, but a published report said it was never tested and is considered faulty.

The ministry spokesman, Helmut Wendt, refused to elaborate on a report in Der Spiegel Monday that the $560 million system, known as “Zerbrus,” didn’t work.

It was designed for the supersonic Tornado fighter plane, which is a joint venture of West Germany, Britain and Italy.

While the Germans opted for the Israeli “Zerbrus” system, the other countries chose different devises to protect the plane from enemy detection.

Der Spiegel, a mass circulation weekly, claimed “Zerbrus” failed to live up to the expectations of air force commanders and may be abandoned.

Wendt would not confirm reports that the system was never tested. He said it passed simulation tests and functioned properly. But for financial reasons, the air force has not tested it in war games, the spokesman said.

Reports have surfaced that Britain is considering the sale of 18 Tornados to Jordan.