Free Headline Alerts     
Worldwide Web


Friday, April 8, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Israel's Iron Dome takes out first short-range Palestinian rocket

TEL AVIV — Israel's new Iron Dome has intercepted its first Palestinian rocket fired from the Gaza Strip.


In the first operational launch, Iron Dome intercepted a BM-21 Grad rocket fired from the Gaza Strip toward the Israeli city of Ashkelon. Israeli military sources said Iron Dome, produced by the state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, fired two Tamir interceptors and destroyed the Palestinian rocket.

"This is the first time a short-range rocket has been intercepted in combat," a military source said.

Also In This Edition

Over the last month, the Israel Air Force deployed two Iron Dome batteries in southern Israel, Middle East Newsline reported. The military stressed that Iron Dome was still being tested as crews underwent training.

"Our Iron Dome intercepted two projectiles successfully," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

The military sources did not confirm that two Palestinian rockets were intercepted. They said, however, that Palestinian gunners had fired several Grads toward Ashkelon.

"During IDF operations in Gaza Strip region on Thursday evening [April 7], an Iron Dome battery successfully intercepted a rocket fired from Gaza towards Israel," an Israeli military statement said.

Iron Dome was designed to intercept missiles and rockets with a range of up to 80 kilometers. But the sources acknowledged that the system needed further enhancements to handle salvos as well as mortars. So far, 178 mortars and rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip in Israel in 2011.

"Hamas knows this and has been firing mostly mortars with ranges too short for interception by Iron Dome," the source said.

Israel intends to procure up to six Iron Dome batteries by mid-2013, officials said. They said the Defense Ministry, based on a promise of $205 million in U.S. aid, was discussing additional production with Rafael.

"This gives us hope that over time we can develop some better defense for our civilians," Netanyahu said.

About Us     l    Privacy     l     l
Copyright © 2011    East West Services, Inc.    All rights reserved.