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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: great
By Bubbacub on 4/9/2009 1:44:49 PM , Rating: 2
it was pretty good for the USSR economy in ww2. the war wiped out all the economies of industrialised competitors in western europe and gave them carte blanche to ruthlessly develop their own. they started the war as the poor man of europe and ended it as the main regional superpower and one of 2 worldwide superpowers.

p.s. i accept that they did lose 20 million people in the process and this was perhaps not a great deal for the russians of the time!

RE: great
By jjmcubed on 4/9/2009 2:38:48 PM , Rating: 2
How many did they lose to Stalin Vs. WWII?

RE: great
By Bubbacub on 4/9/2009 9:54:18 PM , Rating: 2
no one is sure but people reckon he killed around 5 - 10 million people (not all russians - e.g. he killed a lot of ethnic germans, poles etc. in eastern europe after the war ended - hence all the germans are now in germany, poles in poland, ukranians in ukraine etc.). If you include deaths from famine due to moronic attempts to implement collectivised farming then you can add another 6-8 million.

its amazing how stalin appears to have 'got away' with it in terms of being made a villain (at least as compared to hitler)

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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