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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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But Iran has no nukes
By PrinceGaz on 4/9/2009 10:23:00 AM , Rating: -1
Israel Says It's Ready to Intercept Iranian Nukes

That's all very well but Iran doesn't have nuclear weapons so there aren't any for them to intercept.

Iran's leaders have said repeatedly that their nuclear programme is for civilian power-generation purposes, so why do people keep thinking it has a military goal? They should be congratulated for developing nuclear technology as it will help reduce their reliance on fossil-fuels. Relying on imported oil from dodgy Middle Eastern countries is a bad idea, so it makes sense for them to have alternatives. Hmmm...

Besides even if Iran did have nukes, why would they want to use them against Israel. I know there is a slight religious disagreement between them but its not like anybody would risk starting a war over trivial beliefs about god and other made-up stuff.

RE: But Iran has no nukes
By sdoorex on 4/9/2009 10:34:05 AM , Rating: 2
As much as I am against many Israel's actions in the region as well as the support the US has given them, parts of your argument do not make sense.

First, Iran and Israel would duke it out over religion as history would prove. Even with the threat of total nuclear annihilation, I think that the more radical parts, which seem to have control or at least influence the governments of each country, would be willing to go to war.

Second, I support Iran getting nuclear power generation as much as the next country, but just because a government says one thing it doesn't mean it won't do another.

Third, this system is probably not just for defense from Iran, but from anyone else who would stand against Israel, whether that be Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, or anyone.

RE: But Iran has no nukes
By Veerappan on 4/9/2009 10:45:14 AM , Rating: 3
Besides even if Iran did have nukes, why would they want to use them against Israel. I know there is a slight religious disagreement between them but its not like anybody would risk starting a war over trivial beliefs about god and other made-up stuff.

The sarcasm runs strong in this one...

And in the remote chance that you're actually not being sarcastic, start reading:

RE: But Iran has no nukes
By dastruch on 4/9/2009 5:23:54 PM , Rating: 2

RE: But Iran has no nukes
By FITCamaro on 4/9/2009 11:58:33 AM , Rating: 2
God I hope you're being sarcastic and aren't possibly that stupid.

RE: But Iran has no nukes
By andrinoaa on 4/9/2009 5:04:54 PM , Rating: 2
They deserve each other! If you trace the genetics back, they have a common ancestor. The story of Cane and Able comes to mind, how very IRONIC! They are human, doh! Stupidity is a common trait among us humans. Next!?

RE: But Iran has no nukes
By MadMan007 on 4/9/2009 5:50:02 PM , Rating: 2
Haha like that matters. Sunni and Shi'ite Mulsims go at it all the time and they're much more closely 'related.' Religious motivation for war is stupid but it's just one option, if it wasn't religion it would be something else. Sadly it's human nature, or maybe just nature nature.

RE: But Iran has no nukes
By TerranMagistrate on 4/9/2009 6:25:20 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, either you're extremely uninformed or intentionally deceptive.

RE: But Iran has no nukes
By MadMan007 on 4/9/2009 6:47:02 PM , Rating: 2
Come on man, it was sarcasm. Didn't the part about IRAN of all palces trying to reduce their dependence upon fossil fuel imports from politically unfirendly coutries tip you off?

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