Skip to comments.Israel successfully tests missile interceptor: report
Posted on 07/06/2008 9:12:27 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
Israel has successfully tested a new defence system designed to intercept rockets fired from southern Lebanon and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, public radio reported on Sunday.
The "Iron Dome" system is expected to be fully operational within a year and will be able to intercept the military-grade Katyusha rockets used by Lebanon's Hezbollah militia and the cruder Qassam rockets favoured by Hamas.
Citing Israeli security officials, public radio said the system would also be effective against mortar fire which has a much smaller window of warning.
In January Prime Minister Ehud Olmert viewed a prototype of the 200-million-dollar (140-million-euro) system, which is being developed under contract by Rafael Advanced Defence Systems, an Israeli arms manufacturer.
Iron Dome is part of a multi-layered defence system aimed at protecting Israel from both short-range missiles fired by militants in Gaza or Lebanon and longer-range missiles in the arsenals of regional foes Iran and Syria.
Since the outbreak of the latest Palestinian uprising in 2000 Israeli communities near the border with the Gaza Strip have come under frequent rocket and mortar attack, leaving them in a constant state of fear.
The attacks have slowed since a truce between Israel and Hamas came into force on June 19, but the fragile Egyptian-brokered agreement has been tested by occasional rockets and mortar rounds fired by smaller armed groups.
Israel also came under sustained attack during its 2006 war with Hezbollah, when more than 4,000 Katyusha rockets were launched at northern Israel in 34 days, sending hundreds of thousands of residents fleeing south.
Deployment of their system plus dry runs of 900 mile airstrikes...? Things that make you go hmmmmm....
That's quite a feat. Can anti-artillery systems be far behind?
The US Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity (AMSAA), in support of the Product Manager Air and Missile Defense Command and Control Systems (PM AMDCCS), has conducted analysis estimating collateral damage for candidate Counter Rocket, Artillery, and Mortar (C-RAM) systems.
The Air Defense Artillery branch is working diligently with the Field Artillery School to develop a capability to defeat rockets, artillery, and mortars. This initiative is known as Counter-RAM, or C-RAM. Experiments have proven there may be a nearterm capability but how large the initial deployment will be and how many systems we will buy is still unknown. If the C-RAM capability proves to be successful, manning of the interceptor system and its supporting command sections will be an ADA mission.
The chief of staff of the Army directed a near term fielding of a CRAM capability. Rocket, artillery, and mortar attacks are significant cause of hostile deaths in Iraq, and the CRAM directive comes in response to an operational needs statement from the Multinational Corps-Iraq (MNC-I).
Three systems have been proposed to meet this need: the 20mm Phalanx Close in Weapon System, a Navy anti-ship missile defense system; the 35mm Skyshield, a Swiss rotary wing air defense system; and the Active Protection System, developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for anti-tank missile defense.
While Israel is still years away from developing a Kassam rocket defense system, Great Britain announced last week it is deploying a new antirocket and antimortar cannon in Iraq.
Britain's Ministry of Defense has decided to spend 500 million on new protective equipment for troops stationed in Iraq, according to media reports last week, including a rapid-fire cannon called the C-RAM (Counter-Rocket, Artillery and Mortar) that reportedly has a 70 percent to 80 percent success rate in intercepting incoming shells and rockets.
The first C-RAM, manufactured by Raytheon, was sent to Iraq last year and is used by the Americans to protect the Green Zone in Baghdad. The C-RAM is a variant of the American Vulcan Phalanx, a 20mm cannon designed to defend navy ships from missiles. The cannon is controlled by radar that detects and locks in on incoming enemy projectiles.
While the C-RAM is fully operational and would be available for immediate deployment in, say, Sderot, which has been hit by hundreds of Kassam rockets over the past three weeks, Israel's Defense Ministry has decided not to purchase the system. Instead, it is investing its resources in the "Iron Dome" - an antirocket missile system under development by the Rafael Armament Development Authority and expected to be operational by 2011.
Uzi Rubin, a missile expert and a former director of the ministry's Homa Missile Defense Agency, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that the C-RAM was capable of providing medium-level protection for places such as Sderot. According to Rubin, four C-RAM systems - at a cost of $15 million a piece - could effectively defend Sderot from Kassam rockets.
While also calling for the development of a laser-based system to defend Sderot in the long term, Rubin said the C-RAM - which is capable of protecting isolated military outposts and installations - could provide an effective defense in Sderot and should have been bought by Israel years ago.
I frankly believe that both the US and Israel have far more advanced anti-missile systems than either government wants the world to know.
As soon as the system is known and active, the efforts will be dramatically enhanced to defeat the system.
Doesn't sound like it would be safe to be a bird around such a system.
and this Toon says a Lot:
This would be very good. Good luck to them.
The "Iron Dome" system is expected to be fully operational within a year and will be able to intercept the military-grade Katyusha rockets used by Lebanon's Hezbollah militia and the cruder Qassam rockets favoured by Hamas. Citing Israeli security officials, public radio said the system would also be effective against mortar fire which has a much smaller window of warning.Thanks Ernest.