From the AP: A U.S. military officer said Tuesday that a major missile defense exercise staged by American and Israeli forces will help the development of a planned NATO missile shield for Europe.

Some 2,000 U.S. and Israeli personnel are holding maneuvers this week and next to test technology that would protect Israel from a missile attack, setting up radar arrays along the coast and deploying naval vessels offshore. The allies plan to conduct a live-fire test during the exercise.

U.S. Army Col. Tony English told reporters visiting a coastal battery on the edge of Tel Aviv on Tuesday that it was the first major exercise integrating THAAD and Patriot ground-to-air missiles and the ship-launched Aegis system…

In Tel Aviv, English said the U.S.-Israeli exercise, codenamed Juniper Cobra 10, would benefit a future European deployment.

“We’re going to learn a lot of lessons here that will definitely apply to that later system,” he said. (photo: MDA)