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Israelis to Train in Germany to Operate Advanced Vehicle

February 12, 1991
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Several dozen Israeli soldiers were expected Tuesday at Sandhoven, northern Germany, to begin a six-week training course in the operation of one of the most so-phisticated weapons defense systems in any army.

When their training is completed, Israel will receive eight units of Germany’s famous Fox armored reconnaissance vehicle, equipped with a device that can detect and search out nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.

The Nuclear Biological Chemical reconnaissance system, or NBC, as it is called, can tell within seconds what kind of toxic agent the weapon contains.

A government spokesman said Monday that the purpose of providing Israel with the system is to help Israel better protect itself against possible attacks with unconventional weapons. Iraq has threatened to fire Scud missiles with chemical warheads at Israel and may have the capability.

The Germans are especially sensitive because German companies reportedly helped the Iraqis extend the range of their Soviet-made Scuds to reach Israel.

Moreover, what was formerly the East German army trained Iraqi troops in both Iraq and East Germany in the use of chemical weapons.

The East German army has since been dissolved, and Israel may get some of its less sophisticated armored reconnaissance vehicles.

The government confirmed the East German vehicles will be sent to Egypt, which is participating in the U.S.-led coalition fighting Iraq and could be vulnerable to chemical attack by Iraqi missiles or aircraft.

The Israeli soldiers coming here will be instructed by German army officers assisted by interpreters. The training will be in English and Hebrew.

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