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July 31, 2004
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Israel has new antimissile system

The International Herald Tribune (www.iht.com) reports that Israel now has an antimissile system capable of intercepting and destroying incoming missiles from Syria and Iran:

The new Israeli "Arrow System" will stop missiles from Syria, Iran, and other Islamic Fascists (click on image to zoom in)

Israel's missile-killer system, Arrow, has passed its first live test, shooting down an incoming Scud rocket off the coast of California, officials said.

[...] A U.S. military unit fired an unarmed Scud at the California coast on Thursday, where it was tracked by the Arrow's Green Pine radar. The system then launched a missile from a distant island, blowing up the Scud in midair.

[...] Green Pine and the Arrow missiles are designed to detect and destroy incoming threats in less than three minutes at altitudes of more than 50 kilometers, or 30 miles. The missiles are about seven meters, or 25 feet, long.

The Arrow is the world's only anti-ballistic system able to intercept missiles at that level, an advantage considered crucial for preventing devastating fallout from nonconventional warheads.

Experts have estimated the Arrow's success rate at 95 percent but some doubt whether the Arrow would be reliable against a salvo of the Shahab-3, Iran's most advanced missile. Military sources say Israel has more than 200 Arrows, costing $3 million apiece, deployed at two bases.

The article also mentions that Israel was "Shocked by the failure of U.S. Patriot missiles to down 39 Iraqi Scuds fired at it during the 1991 Gulf War". This is typical anti-American bias from Reuters and AP.

I was a student in Haifa, Israel, during the 1991 Gulf War. When Saddam Hussein and Iraq fired 91 Scud missiles at Israeli civilian population centers, targetting women, children and babies, I was not "shocked" by the inability of the American Patriot missiles to stop the Iraqi Scuds.

But I was mad at Iraq and its leaders. I was also very happy that the United States was willing to help Israel; the fact that the Patriot system was not perfect did not shock me or most Israelis at all.

That said, I am regularly shocked by the blatant anti-American bias coming from Reuters, AP and the leftist New York Times.

I copy the full article below.

Israel's antimissile system passes first test on a Scud
The International Herald Tribune, 7/31/2004, Link

Israel's missile-killer system, Arrow, has passed its first live test, shooting down an incoming Scud rocket off the coast of California, officials said.

Shocked by the failure of U.S. Patriot missiles to down 39 Iraqi Scuds fired at it during the 1991 Gulf War, and fearing Iran's atomic program, Israel developed the $2.2 billion Arrow with help from Washington.

"The execution was perfect," Arieh Herzog, project chief for Arrow, told Israel's Channel One television from California. "We will continue developing to achieve capabilities against future threats such as those emerging from Iran."

A U.S. military unit fired an unarmed Scud at the California coast on Thursday, where it was tracked by the Arrow's Green Pine radar. The system then launched a missile from a distant island, blowing up the Scud in midair.

"We live in uncertain times," according to the office of Shaul Mofaz, the defense minister. "Countries in the third circle are pursuing efforts to acquire nonconventional means, which they will couple up with long-range firing capabilities."

Herzog was even more explicit. "Iran is developing more sophisticated missiles with a longer range and we will make sure that, when they become operational, we have an adequate answer for them," he told the Israeli Army radio.

Israel's intelligence services told its security cabinet last week that Iran would produce nuclear weapons by 2007, public radio reported.

Green Pine and the Arrow missiles are designed to detect and destroy incoming threats in less than three minutes at altitudes of more than 50 kilometers, or 30 miles. The missiles are about seven meters, or 25 feet, long.

The Arrow is the world's only anti-ballistic system able to intercept missiles at that level, an advantage considered crucial for preventing devastating fallout from nonconventional warheads.

Experts have estimated the Arrow's success rate at 95 percent but some doubt whether the Arrow would be reliable against a salvo of the Shahab-3, Iran's most advanced missile. Military sources say Israel has more than 200 Arrows, costing $3 million apiece, deployed at two bases.

Half the Arrow system's research, development and production costs from the project's inception, in 1988, have been borne by the United States. State-owned Israel Aircraft Industries developed the Arrow.

On Friday, meanwhile, Israeli soldiers shot four Palestinians who were spotted at daybreak trying to plant a bomb between central Gaza and Israel, Israeli military officials said. The Israeli media reported that all four had been killed.

Elsewhere, four more Qassam rockets were fired from the northern Gaza into Israel, damaging streets in Sederot, on the edge of the northern Negev, but no people were hit. Israeli military officials said five bystanders were treated for shock. (Reuters, AFP, NYT)

Posted by David Melle at July 31, 2004 06:07 PM
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(According to digits.com)