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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: The point is...
By Steve1981 on 4/10/2009 11:35:46 AM , Rating: 2
As someone who watches from the outside, I can't say I have any particular sympathy for any "side" in this mess. That isn't to say I don't pity the people in the refugee camps. However, the leadership on all sides leaves something to be desired.

You mention the surrounding countries that watch with horror as the Palestinians are abused by Israeli hands. Never mind that Israel isn't the only country with Palestinian refugees that are treated like garbage... As much sympathy as those neighbors might have, for the most part they don't want those refugees in their society either.

As far as the Palestinian leadership: I understand that their people have suffered. However, when facing a military force that could annihilate you at a whim, does it make sense to try and antagonize them with rocket attacks and suicide bombings, or negotiate?

Don't get me wrong, I don't think Israel is on the moral high ground here. But at this point, I don't believe the ball is in their court if the Palestinians want to change their condition. That is solely in their hands.

RE: The point is...
By Guttersnipe on 4/12/2009 2:51:13 AM , Rating: 2
its not just that, the surrounding countries have their own oppressed people. namely the kurds and their aspirations for their own state. it is a deep hypocrisy they dont want to acknowledge.

and these muslim countries rant and rave over how israel fights terror. look at how pakistan has to do it, they don't just bulldoze a few houses, they get rid of entire villages in their fight. but luckily, they aren't jews!

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