(JTA) — The U.S. government published on a federal website details of a top-secret base to house the Arrow 3 ballistic–missile defense system.
A 1,000-page detailed description of the project, to be built by the United States for Israel, was published on a federal business opportunities website in order to allow contractors to prepare bids on the $25 million project, McClatchy’s Sheera Frenkel reported on Monday.
The bidding documents were first cited in Jane’s Defence Weekly, which discussed them in a story that gives details about the new defense system.
When the Arrow 3 becomes operational in 2015, it is expected to be able to intercept ballistic missile at a range of up to 1,500 miles, outside the Earth’s atmosphere.
“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,” an unnamed Israeli official told McClatchy.
Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Wesley Miller told McClatchy that the U.S. routinely publishes construction plans on the website to allow contractors to accurately estimate costs.
The facility is so top secret in Israel that the military will not confirm its exact location, which is between Jerusalem and Ashdod in southern Israel.
The head of the Arrow 3 project, Col. Aviram Hasson, on Monday told a conference at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv that the Arrow 3 program has been accelerated due to fears of the threat from Iran.
The U.S. has built some $500 million in Israeli military facilities, including an air base, intelligence offices and underground hangars, according to McClatchy.