Israeli and US army officers
Israeli and US army officersIsrael news photo: IDF

The largest-ever anti-missile military exercise with the United States, which Israel postponed a week and a half ago, will be held in October, the Ma’ariv newspaper reported on Thursday.

The report said that the decision to hold the exercise in October was reached late on Thursday night, after lengthy discussions between defense officials.

The “Austere Challenge 12” drill, which is designed to improve defense systems and cooperation between the U.S. and Israeli forces, was postponed on January 15 for what Israel said was “technical” reasons.

Ma’ariv reported that the postponement was initiated by Israel and was agreed upon by the Americans. After the drill was postponed, the report said, security officials denied that the postponement was linked to economic reasons and suggested that “at this time of year we should not attract attention and prepare for complex challenges” which lay ahead.

Ma’ariv also noted that in preparation for the drill, U.S. military officers will arrive in Israel next week. About 3,000 U.S. soldiers are expected to arrive in Israel to take part in the large-scale exercise, the report said, and they will be joined by about 2,000 IDF soldiers.