Israel is to hasten the development of long-range missiles - with cruise capability - as a result of the US refusal to sell Raytheon Tomahawk cruise missiles to the Israeli Defence Forces.

Israel had asked Washington to approve the sale of the Tomahawks. It is not clear which version was requested by Israel, but the USA refused to open negotiations. Israel has a tradition of developing indigenous defence capabilities after supplier refusals.

As a result, sources say that Israel may increase its investment in the development of its own long-range missile systems.

Israeli defence companies, including Israel Military Industries (IMI) and Israel Aircraft Industries' MBT division, have conducted research into such weapons. The only visible effort is IMI's Star-1. This is reported to have a 400km (250nm)range, but sources say this can be "increased extensively".

Source: Flight International