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Thursday, December 17, 2009     GET REAL

Israel's Iron Dome interceptor downs missile in first live fire test

Special From Geostrategy-Direct.com

TEL AVIV — Israel's new rocket defense system has proven a hit-to-kill capability.   

Officials said Israel's Iron Dome has achieved the ability to strike incoming short-range missiles and rockets. They said the Iron Dome demonstrated this during its first live fire test in mid-2009.

"They met head on," Defense Minister Ehud Barak said.

In a Nov. 17 address to the International Aerospace Conference and Exhibition-Israel, Barak said Iron Dome exceeded all expectations. He said the assessment within the Defense Ministry and military had been that the interceptor would explode 10 meters from the incoming missile.


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At the annual aerospace parley, the Defense Ministry showed a film of the Iron Dome intercept. The edited clip showed the Iron Dome interceptor hurling into the air followed by an explosion. The interceptor's approach toward the incoming target missile was not shown.

Officials said Iron Dome was not designed solely for hit-to-kill interception. They said the interceptor, through the use of shrapnel, was capable of stopping or diverting an incoming missile from a distance of three meters.

Iron Dome has been designed and developed by the state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. Officials said Iron Dome would be ready for deployment in 2011, but could be rushed into service earlier.

Officials said Iron Dome, meant to operate at all times and in any weather, would be the lowest tier of Israel's multi-layered missile defense umbrella. The system was designed to intercept missiles and rockets with a range of up to 70 kilometers.

The Defense Ministry has encouraged Rafael to market Iron Dome to foreign countries. Officials said the system has been marketed to Brazil and India.

"It will be an export hit," Barak said.




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