WASHINGTON (AFP) - US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has agreed to explore deploying a powerful missile defence targeting radar in Israel, a senior US defence official said Tuesday. "The idea here is to help Israel create a layered missile defence capability to protect it from all sorts of threats in the region, near and far," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Gates discussed the Israeli request Monday in a meeting with Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak, the official said. Besides the radar, Gates also agreed to explore sharing missile early warning launch data, as well as US funding for two costly Israeli projects designed to counter short-range rockets and mortars, he said. The official said deploying the X-band radar was a near-term proposition, adding "all this is moving pretty quickly." "We are going to station this land-based system there, and the Israelis would plug into it," said the official.