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The Arrow missile, seen here during its launch, successfully intercepted a ballistic missile that simulated Iran's most advanced possible future warhead. Israel says it's ready to shoot down nukes and traditional missiles from Iran and others.  (Source: AP)
"Bring it on," says Israel

While the 90s saw a time of relative peace, with the Iraq war and the escalate tensions with Iran, Israel is staying alert and preparing for any kind of assault.  The Israeli Air Force just wrapped up the 17th test of its new missile defense system and is confident that it can now shoot down any ballistic nuclear missiles that Iran or others could shoot at it.

The Palmahim Base launched an Arrow interceptor at a Blue Sparrow Missile, fired from an F-15 fighter jet.  The missile was designed to mimic an Iranian Shihab 3 missile, the kind of missile that Israel expects Iran to potentially use as a nuclear weapon delivery platform.  The Blue Sparrow has a split warhead and advanced radar-evading capabilities.  While the Shihab 3 ballistic missile currently lacks these capabilities, it is believed that Iran is working to develop them.  The test was jointly conducted by the IAF and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency.

An integral part of the new missile defense system is its new Green Pine radar system.  This highly accurate radar system was deployed to the Negev Desert in 2008.

Brig.-Gen. Daniel Milo, commander of the IAF's Air Defense Division said that the test's success, despite poor visibility, was a testament to the readiness of the country's missile defense program.  He states, "The Arrow technology is always improving, and we cannot forget that the enemy is also advancing with its capabilities."

It is unclear how well the system will work against Iran's latest missile, though -- the Sajjil.  The Sajjil is Iran's first solid fuel rocket.  Solid fuel allows the rocket to have a much greater accuracy than the previous liquid designs.  The missile has a range of 2,000 km.  Iran also has a stockpile of several BM25 intercontinental missiles which it purchased four or more years ago from North Korea.

The Arrow is also exceptionally effective against the Syrian Scud D, which is capable of delivering traditional and nontraditional payloads to anywhere in Israel.  Defense Minister Ehud Barak called the test "another achievement for Israel on its way to obtaining a multi-level missile defense system, starting with the Iron Dome to defend against short-range rockets, and to the Arrow."

The Israel missile defense system helps provide valuable test data to help the U.S. develop and improve its own missile shield.  The U.S., like Israel, claims its missile defense shield to be active and ready to destroy any nuclear threat.

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RE: Upcoming real estate investment opportunity
By smackababy on 4/9/2009 9:49:19 AM , Rating: 5
I still don't see why countries mess with Israel. They hold their own against all odds, and kick butt doing it. Not a country I'd mess with.

By lukasbradley on 4/9/2009 10:18:09 AM , Rating: 5
If Israel operated in a vacuum, your point might be valid.

However, Israel does not operate in a vacuum. The Arrow missile was funded almost completely by the United States starting in the late 80s. The missile was fired from an F-15, which was also donated as a part of US aid. The vast majority of Israel's military technological prowess is a direct result of the donations from countries.

The United States reacted with great vigor at Cuba being armed by the USSR. Other middle eastern nations have had the same concern at Israel's bolstered status.

I'm not condoning anything here. What I'm trying to elicit is the situation is much, much more complex than Country A defending itself from evil Country B.

RE: Upcoming real estate investment opportunity
By omnicronx on 4/9/2009 10:31:36 AM , Rating: 3
Israel buys most of its weapons from the US, they are not merely given away. They have a huge budget for a country of their size, mainly from the millions upon millions of dollars in donations from Jews in the US and around the world. Not to mention even if other Middle eastern countries gain nuclear capabilities, they will still have a larger stockpile than all middle eastern countries combined for a long time. They also have a large amount of highly trained ground forces, as all citizens over the age of 18 must serve a minimum of 3 years for men, and 2 years for woman.

As the OP said, Israel is not a country to mess with, if backed into a corner, they could turn pretty much any middle eastern nation into a crater.

By lukasbradley on 4/9/2009 10:42:38 AM , Rating: 2
Drastically incorrect. The majority of US arms are received as grants. The loan component of the FMF was phased out years ago.

RE: Upcoming real estate investment opportunity
By omnicronx on 4/9/2009 1:02:32 PM , Rating: 5
Military Aid from the US only accounts for 20% of their annual military spending, they bought 6 billion dollars worth of arms from the US during the first five years of the Bush administration alone, not to mention the billions of dollars in contracts with US weapons manufacturers such as Lockheed Martin, Raytheon(they manufacture Tomahawk and sidewinder missiles) and Boeing.

Furthermore only 70% of the US aid is spent on US weaponry.
If you think the majority of their weaponry is paid for with US tax dollars, you would be wrong.

By lukasbradley on 4/9/2009 5:25:06 PM , Rating: 1
You are perverting statistics, and what I stated. Please explain the US$14.516B of grants and financing through the Foreign Military Financing program during the 2001-2005 years and how it relates to the US$6B in purchases.

If you have trouble in doing so, I can help you understand it.

RE: Upcoming real estate investment opportunity
By Joz on 4/9/2009 10:35:51 AM , Rating: 2
While you are technicaly correct in some aspects, currently Israel devolops and uses more if its own technology.
A small list would be:
Merkava tank
Desert Eagle
Uzi (and all its lovely lovely lovely differnt forms.)
Corner Shot
Several flavors of automated and remote control weapons platforms for ships, tanks and other sea/land vehicles.

Personaly, my favorites are the Merkava, Travor and the Corner Shot.

By therealnickdanger on 4/9/2009 10:43:10 AM , Rating: 3
I'm not nit-picking your list, I'm just sharing this because I just learned this over the weekend:

The Desert Eagle is and always has been invented/designed right here in Minneapolis by Magnum Research. All DEs used to be manufactured in Israel, but that contract recently ended and they will soon no longer build them. This according to a Magnum Research rep at a gun show I just went to. (I also fired the deagle while I was there - awesome!)

By lukasbradley on 4/9/2009 10:45:05 AM , Rating: 1
I never insinuated all of their military technology is acquired from foreign sources.

However, I find it funny that most of your examples are arms either designed by US companies or as join ventures with US companies.

By Joz on 4/9/2009 12:14:25 PM , Rating: 3
Not to nitpick you guys, but most of the stuff I listed is primarly developed in Israel, sometime is devoloped in copperation with other nations and companies, and some of it is requested in design by Israel. But otherwise, they are Isareli designed/used or otherwise exlusively contracted by Israel.

And please, dont insult me by saying "so and so" and "such and such" I served two years voulunteer duty in the IDF, varius rolls.

By Chillin1248 on 4/9/2009 5:26:58 PM , Rating: 3
Many yes.

As a IDF soldier I personally find that my favorite/reliable weapons are made by the U.S.A.; M4A1, M24, M240 and HMWWV... Scratch the last one.


By Yaron on 4/10/2009 5:27:40 AM , Rating: 2
Shalom shalom
Just for kicks :)

You still in the army or in reserve?

RE: Upcoming real estate investment opportunity
By Chaser on 4/9/2009 4:01:25 PM , Rating: 3
Israel wants to live in peace and be left alone. But sadly that doesn't happen. Rocket launches daily from Gaza mostly is a sad reality that rarely gets reported by most news agencies.
The United States reacted with great vigor at Cuba being armed by the USSR. Other middle eastern nations have had the same concern at Israel's bolstered status.


RE: Upcoming real estate investment opportunity
By andrinoaa on 4/9/2009 4:51:03 PM , Rating: 2
Too bad the Palestinians had to ruin the party. How dare they want recognition of their plite! How dare they want to go back to their parents homes and olive groves, yes how dare they! The irony is that over the past 60yrs , so much money and energy has been wasted in fighting. Imagine if the Palestinians were compensated and included, how much we ALL could have saved. What a bloody waste it has been and looks to be for the forseeable future. Yes "Mondo Cane" !

RE: Upcoming real estate investment opportunity
By Goty on 4/9/09, Rating: -1
RE: Upcoming real estate investment opportunity
By Mk4ever on 4/9/2009 9:11:43 PM , Rating: 3

I don't know what kind of sources may give or lead you to such conclusions, but I ask you, please read a lot more about the issue you are talking about before posting.

RE: Upcoming real estate investment opportunity
By Goty on 4/10/2009 12:56:25 AM , Rating: 2
I've done plenty of research. Israel was formed out of the British Mandate of Palestine, which was simply land parceled out to Britain by the League of Nations after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire following WWI. "Palestine", as the region between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River was called, became Israel (an Arab majority state) and the Transjordan became the country of Jordan. So, the land you claim was a Palestinian state went through three distinct phases in the last century: First it was part of the Ottoman Empire, then it was a British territory, and then it became the free state of Israel.

Now, where exactly in that entire century was Israel EVER a Palestinian state? "Palestinians" only exist because they are the people who inhabited the geographical region known as Palestine and decided to not call themselves Israelites after the state they lived in was dissolved following WWI.

By Chaser on 4/10/2009 9:00:47 AM , Rating: 2
Reality check. Thank you.

RE: Upcoming real estate investment opportunity
By Wierdo on 4/10/2009 12:28:03 PM , Rating: 4
Palestine always existed as a land where Arab muslims, christins, and jews co-existed. The european jews came in with major external funds and bought land from the native farmers, then they excluded the local populations from their industries, which caused friction. It's like if rich mexicans came to Texas during the depression, bought all the land and then treated Non-mexican Texans like N*'s.

But that's that past, the current problem is that the Israeli goverment currently consists of only right (two-state solution, and ethnic cleansing to move Israeli Arabs into the second state) and extreme right (no two state solution and more land grabs) so that means we'll be subsidizing them for perpetual regional instability for another generation at least.

By Guttersnipe on 4/12/2009 2:47:43 AM , Rating: 2
wishful thinking, it was a place where from time to time they'd mob and kill each other. its why jews banded together to form protective militias which were the seeds of the future military forces during the first war.

as for the rest...the muslims can talk about israel with less hypocrisy when they give the kurds their own state. right now the turks, iranians, iraqis don't even mention a word about a two state solution. it is how it is when only things matter when jews are involved.

By smitty3268 on 4/10/2009 12:06:29 AM , Rating: 4
So if the government came and bulldozed your house down, then gave the land to some wealthy Muslims to build a new house, you'd be fine with that?

I mean, it's not your land. Eminent domain says that it's the governments land. You didn't lose anything, you never owned it because the government says you didn't.

Seriously, now, there's a lot of bullshit going on in the middle east. People on both sides see it as their sacred duty to drive out the other side and reclaim their holy land. We've sided with Israel in the conflict because they're more Westernized and more similar to us. There's nothing wrong with that, but let's not try to pretend that the situation is simpler than it really is. Nothing is ever black and white.

By codeThug on 4/9/2009 10:28:53 AM , Rating: 2
Not a country I'd mess with.

No doubt...

RE: Upcoming real estate investment opportunity
By penumbra on 4/9/2009 10:40:06 AM , Rating: 1
Jeez, no wonder no one got a 5 in this post.
Ballistic missiles are as old as World War 2. Hitler had them. The thing is, even a traditional air defence radar can track them and we know from projectile/ ballistic motion that if an object starts at one point, where it would be at time "T". so its very easy to track it down. Plus, Ballistic missiles are easier to shoot down if they are still in the first half of their flight, i.e. still rising up while the rate of change of velocity going down. Once it turns at it's maximum height and starts to increase velocity it becomes difficult to shoot and track it down.

But my question is, what if Iran gets cruise missiles, even, subsonic ones, Their Radar can't detect it can it?

By stromgald30 on 4/9/2009 4:55:24 PM , Rating: 3
Ballistic missiles are old, but they're still around. Why? Because they're cheap and they work well enough. Tracking one is easy, but shooting it down isn't. Even on ascent and at its peak, you're still trying to hit something moving very, very fast. Cruise missiles are easier to shoot down because they're relatively slow.

I'm not sure why you think Israel's radar wouldn't be able to track cruise missiles. Cruise missiles are basically just like a small UAV filled with ordnance. They wouldn't be hard to detect unless they are 1) stealth or 2) hide in the ground clutter. Considering Iran's level of tech, I don't think 1 is possible. As for 2, it depends on Israel's radar systems vs. Iran's terrain following technology. Personally, I'd bet on Israel.

RE: Upcoming real estate investment opportunity
By penumbra on 4/9/2009 5:30:35 PM , Rating: 2
As far as i know, a high level air force radar can easily track down a ballistic missile in its trajectory rather than their flight. For example, Pakistan main ballistic missiles with ranges upto 4500km and beyond are 2m in diameter and more than 12 m long. Thats a pretty big cross section. Once your radar tracks it, all you need is a highly mobile SAM to take radar's guidance and shoot the ballistic missile down.
I don't even know why they are afraid of Iran. Just another cause to Pursue their own nuclear weapons. USA and Israel can have them, but muslims nations can't. right.
I can proudly say Pakistan has them, and unlike Israel who wanted to bomb our program in 1988, and they couldn't do it because they knew any aircraft won't survive the return journey. Pakistan stated in 1996 we have abandoned nuclear weapons program. 1997 CIA publishes report to confirm that. 1998 Pakistan conducts 5 nuclear "Hot Tests". Again, Israel wanted to bomb Pakistani nuclear program with help from Indian airbases. F-16s lying around on Indian Airbases, when they don't have any, meant Israel was ready. But then again cowards couldn't do it. So now the moral of the story is, muslims are not gonna be deprived of nuclear weapons. Israel itself well and truly knows, if they meddle with us we can literally wipe them out. I don't even think that Iran is a threat.

The thing you said about cruise missiles, well the Pakistani ones are terrain hugging tested to avoid radar at subsonic speeds for upto 600km, submarine and air launched.
A radar has tracking range in shape of a inverted cone (Pointed side down, maximum area at top). hence if you can guide the cruise missile around that vacuum of tracking, basically it's evading the radar.

Last there is the question of multiple trackings for Ballistic missiles, as Iran may send in decoys. You can't tell which one is loaded.

By stromgald30 on 4/9/2009 6:20:04 PM , Rating: 2
I don't even know why they are afraid of Iran. Just another cause to Pursue their own nuclear weapons. USA and Israel can have them, but muslims nations can't.
But then again cowards couldn't do it. So now the moral of the story is, muslims are not gonna be deprived of nuclear weapons.

Despite what you may think, the US and UN opposition to nations having nuclear arms has nothing to do with religion. I could care less if a Muslim country has nuclear weapons. I do have a problem with countries controlled by stupid governments fixated on their own petty little issues having nuclear weapons because they're most likely to use them. And IMO, the little stunt pulled by both Pakistan and India in 1998 falls in that category of 'stupid'. I'd be much happier if both countries didn't have nuclear weapons.

In addition, the US is NOT pursuing any more nuclear weapons. There are plenty stockpiled in Russia and the US that no more nuclear weapons are being developed by either side.

Israel acts out of fear most of the time and that's the problem. Your comment of F-16s on Indian airbases just shows what lengths India was willing to go to take out Pakistan's nuclear capability. I don't think it reflects much on Israel or the US. F-16s are generally interceptors, not attack bombers. If Israel truly wanted to bomb Pakistan, they'd have done it themselves using F-15s flying from Israel, not F-16s based in India.

A regular SAM can not shoot down a ballistic missile. It's like trying to hit a bullet with another bullet. The size and cross-section only affects detection, not the ability to shoot it down. Sure, SAMs have some maneuverability and tracking, but the accuracy required is still more than what the SAMs that China, Russia, India, or Pakistan are capable of.

Radar is not as simple as you seem to make it. If the terrain is relatively flat, radar towers can be used. There are also AWACS planes whose radars point downward to see ground hugging cruise missiles. Of course, you get a lot of radar reflection from the trees, buildings, etc. on the ground, but good radars can pick out an object moving at 200+mph along the ground.

Yes, Iran could send decoys, and there's really no solution to the decoys other than maybe detecting differences in thermal signatures or just shooting all of them down.

RE: Upcoming real estate investment opportunity
By penumbra on 4/10/2009 12:31:49 AM , Rating: 2
What utter nonsense.

In 1988 it was USA who stopped Israel from taking action against the Pakistani research. Because Pakistan was running the covert war and raising freedom fighters for the USA to fight off the Soviets from Afghanistan, which they did. Same freedom fighters that USA raised that you now call terrorists.
As i have mentioned earlier, the only reason for wars is that USA and Israel see an apparent threat and then go after it. After all it employs millions of people directly and indirectly.

Lastly, even if Israel Fighers, f-15 or f-16, came into Pakistan at Mach 2.0 speeds, do you think they would make it back alive? So you think we would wait and get bombed while our Mirages, F-16s and f-7s just watch the show? Nice man...keep dreaming.

I think i will refrain from posting here as only the Jews are spamming here. Being proud of a country that i am very proudly saying that i don't recognize neither would ever do.

Even if Ahmadinejad said something of wiping Israel out, his supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei didn't agree. But Israel went in front of the world asking for sympathy and nothing else. You seriously need to get over what happened in WWII. What Israel is doing now in Gaza is no different. So why should it feel safe?

And China has the capability to shoot down satellites...and so pretty much the ballistic missiles.
And about Russia...they have the S-400 which you can read here...

its just a matter of time before these come in hands of India and Pakistan.

So keep on dreaming....oh maybe you were laid off with a pink slip or some Brown man from South Asia took away your job and your girl.


By stromgald30 on 4/10/2009 3:23:09 AM , Rating: 2
Did you not even read my post? Your first few paragraphs somewhat agree with what I said or miss the point completely.

I said that if Israel wanted to bomb Pakistan, they would. Sure, the US would strongly advise against that, but why would they base F-16s in India for that? Your earlier point about possible Israeli F-16s striking from India doesn't make sense.

I'm sure if it did happen, Pakistan wouldn't stand idly by. I never said Pakistan would. I said that Israel could strike at specific targets in Pakistan if they wanted to. For that matter, they could probably do that, technologically speaking, to any other country except maybe Russia and the US.

China's demonstration means very little. A satellite has a very well known flight path. China invested weeks of analysis and calculations on the flight path to make sure it worked. Hitting a missile that was launched less than 15 minutes ago is a different story.

OK, I admit, I was wrong about the Russia's capabilities. They had only developed it in 2004, and I haven't kept close enough track of all their new developments.

Your pathetic attack on me just shows that you're running out of arguments. Next time, put up some facts instead of resorting to ad hominem.

By Felofasofa on 4/10/2009 4:18:40 AM , Rating: 2
That S-400 Wiki link is pretty funny. Most capability of Russian hardware is grossly overstated, usually by Western Media encouraged by our military. Films like Hunt for Red October don't help. Silent propulsion blah blah, when in reality the Russians are yet to perfect a SLBM system even today. The Russians themselves have absolutely no confidence in most of their systems, only we did.

By beerhound on 4/11/2009 3:27:27 PM , Rating: 2
Just a small correction. F-16 most definitely are used in an attack role. In fact they are used more often in a ground attack roll than in air to air. For the type of mission mentioned above (blowing up a nuke facility) the configuration would depend on how far they needed to fly and if they had tanker support. If it can fly the mission on internal fuel (about 1000 US gal for the 1 seat or 800 for the 2 seat) or have tanker support, then they would most likely carry 2 2000lb bombs under each wing. If they need to carry drop tanks, then it would be 1 bomb under each wing.

By Reclaimer77 on 4/10/2009 12:30:00 PM , Rating: 1
So now the moral of the story is, muslims are not gonna be deprived of nuclear weapons. Israel itself well and truly knows, if they meddle with us we can literally wipe them out . I don't even think that Iran is a threat.

As an American, I want to thank you for helping dispel the idea that you're all a bunch of crazies looking to get your hands on nukes so you can wipe out your ancient enemies...

Oh wait, nevermind. Thanks for nothing !

By Clairvoyance on 4/11/2009 3:04:37 PM , Rating: 2
The only reason ballistic missiles are still around is because politics prevented the development and deployment of technology to counter them. The inherent weaknesses of ballistic missiles (highly visible, easily predictable trajectory) and the principles of exploiting them are well known. The US has been intercepting ballistic missiles since the '60s. The Soviet Union built an operational ABM system around Moscow in the '70s. But it was politics, not practicality, that retarded ABM development, and thus gave the ICBM a several decades undeserved extension on life.

Cruise missiles are actually quite difficult to intercept. A radar on a 100ft mast has a radar horizon of about 45 km against a cruise missile flying at 100ft AGL. You need AWACS and fighters with advanced radars to reliably defend against low flying targets. The only reason it seems easy is because we've invested a lot into technology designed to do just that - the same systems effective against low flying aircraft are also effective against a small, suicidal unmanned low flying aircraft.

Conversely, the only reason intercepting ballistic missiles seems hard is because our defense systems built in the past decades are optimized for aircraft - comparatively slow, low altitude, and highly maneuverable. You need the opposite for ballistic missiles: large, high energy, very fast interceptors; maneuverability optional. Compare PAC-2 to PAC-3, SM-2 to SM-3 or 9M96 to 48N6E2. Very different missiles for very different roles, fired from similar platforms.

Only now has development begun again on ABM (and even now political obstacles still exist). Once ABM widely proliferates - barring politics, if you have a space program, you also have ABM - expect ballistic missiles to go the way of obsolete. All of the tactics and evolving technology that bombers and cruise missiles use in their arms race with defenses: low altitude penetration, evasion, armed penetration, electronic warfare, stealth; are not available to ballistic missiles.
The most significant challenge in shooting down ballistic missiles was not their extremely high speed, but the political barrier. Once this is gone, BMs don't have a prayer.

Before anyone says MIRVs or decoys:

MIRV technology was always a cost reduction measure. The infrastructure required to support, protect, and most importantly, control an ICBM is hugely expensive. Hardened silos, operations and maintenance crews, and C3I costs a lot. Coupled with treaties that limit numbers of missiles, it just makes sense to load up more relatively cheap warheads and get the most out of the big money you've already spent.
A MIRV bus is quite vulnerable - since warheads are unpowered, and the bus itself has only enough fuel to reposition itself between warhead separations, it's quite the basket with many eggs in it. Remember, the warheads only have a rather narrow window in which they must separate if they are to hit their targets. Too soon or too late and they'll miss. MIRVs were only viable in the absence of ABM.

Decoys are a dumb idea that's never been really taken seriously. It may be possible to use radar reflective surfaces to give an object a larger RCS. It may be possible to give it a power source to increase its thermal signature. And it's also theoretically possible to precisely engineer these features to resemble an actual warhead. But you also need the decoy to have the same approximate mass as the real warheads, or else their trajectories will be easily distinguishable. At this point... why not just add another warhead? Every decoy you put on your missile is one warhead the enemy just destroyed without ever firing a shot.

RE: Upcoming real estate investment opportunity
By DASQ on 4/9/2009 10:44:59 AM , Rating: 2
Well they didn't really kick much butt in Lebanon now did they.

By MrBungle123 on 4/9/2009 11:03:08 AM , Rating: 3
Israel like the US often pulls its punches.

By HyrcanusSparta on 4/9/2009 11:31:41 AM , Rating: 1
For sure.

Instead of working on missiles or lasers to intercept missiles,

you could issue a warning to iran,hizbollah,hamas to stay indoors and use lasers to blind everyone in the open.

Why would they be there if they aren't sighting a weapon?

Arabs and iranians don't have the minds to comprehend what could be done to them.

By Fallen Kell on 4/9/2009 3:15:30 PM , Rating: 2
The only problem with that is that blinding weapons are banned by inter-national conventions and are punishable as war crimes by the criminal courts in Hague.

Some weapons that could blind are not necessarily banned, but usage is restricted, such as white phosphorus in urban areas (a complaint filed against Israel during recent actions).

By aegisofrime on 4/9/2009 11:17:11 AM , Rating: 2
Interesting that you should say that. I just watched "The Last King of Scotland", and I learned about Operation Entebbe from watching that film.

Only Israel will have the balls to send their military to a foreign country to rescue fellow countrymen held hostage by Palestinian terrorists, potentially violating another country' sovereignty, AND preparing for the likelihood of said country's military retaliating. Amazing stuff.

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