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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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By retrospooty on 4/9/2009 10:07:50 AM , Rating: 1
"If Iran is smart, and it isn't, it won't so much as fart in Israel's direction. Tehran will be a crater. "

Yup... You dont mess with the Zohan. =)

But seriously... Correct - Iran will be a crater. Israel is like the kid who got picked on through grade school, then when he got older, and was big enough to defend himself, flips out and over-reacts to any slight insult and beats people to a pulp. the moral - stay the helll away from that dude...

By PitViper007 on 4/9/2009 11:12:00 AM , Rating: 4
Actually, I think Israel is pretty restrained in its responses concidering the provocation it gets constantly.

By aegisofrime on 4/9/2009 11:27:09 AM , Rating: 5
Agreed. But look at it from Israel's point of view. They are surrounded by countries populated by people who really hate them and have in the past actually tried to destroy them, but failed. And of course we have the holocaust. This is really Rambo/Chuck Norris/Insert random hero that's backed into a corner. If you want to take Israel out, they are going to destroy you ten times over first.

By retrospooty on 4/9/2009 11:41:19 AM , Rating: 2
Absolutely right... more reason not to mess with them. Iran cant handle them, much less us.

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By andrinoaa on 4/9/2009 4:59:41 PM , Rating: 2
Just because they are phsycho, doesn't give them license to do as they please. Some day the chickens will come home to roost. Karma is a powerful force. Oldies say " live buy the sword, die by the sword". History is littered with "little empires". Thats one reason powerful weapons in the hands of men is always asking for it. It may not be today or 1000yrs hence, but it comes around.

By Spuke on 4/9/2009 5:56:36 PM , Rating: 2
Just because they are phsycho, doesn't give them license to do as they please.
So it's ok for the other countries to launch rockets and suicide bombers into Israel but Israel's occasional retaliations are "chickens will come home to roost"? I would say YOU are the one that's psycho.

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