[QODLink]
Middle East

Israel tests new rocket interceptor

David's Sling, capable of stopping missiles within ranges of 300km, passed the test run, military officials say.
Last Modified: 26 Nov 2012 12:32
The multi-mission radar used David's Sling system is similar to the radar in use on the Iron Dome [EPA]

Israel has tested a new rocket interceptor in a bid to further strengthen its defences and make its "multi-layer missile" system operational.

Military officials said on Sunday that David's Sling, which is capable of stopping missiles within ranges of 300km, had passed the test run in southern Israel by blocking its first missile.

David's Sling, otherwise known as the Magic Wand, has been developed by Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and US-based Raytheon Co.

A military spokesperson aid the programme, which is on schedule for deployment in 2014, would "provide an additional layer of defense against ballistic missiles".

The news of the tests came shortly after Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the Lebanese political group Hezbollah, announced on Ashura, a holy day of mourning, that thousands of rockets would rain on Israel if it attacks Lebanon.

Hezbollah could hit targets "from Kiryat Shmona - and let the Israelis listen carefully - from Kiryat Shmona to Eilat", he said, referring to Israeli's northernmost town on the Lebanese border and to the Red Sea port 290km further south.

Iran threat perception

With US backing, Israel maintains that it has the right to defend itself from attacks and is reviewing its military strategy and retaliatory options in the face of ongoing tension with Gaza and Lebanon as well as the political instability of neighbouring Syria. 

In a recent interview with the BBC, Riad Hijab, who defected as the Syrian prime minister to the opposition, alleged that Iran had been deciding Syria's policy.

Iran's alleged alliance and collaboration against Israel with the neighbouring countries has prompted Israel to deploy Arrow systems for longer-range threats from Iran.

The Iron Dome, which was deployed in last week's offensive on Gaza, protects against short-range rockets fired by fighters in the Gaza Strip and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The Fajr-5s, with a range of 75km - able to strike Tel Aviv or Jerusalem - and 175kg warheads, were the most powerful and long-range rockets to have been fired from Gaza before the ceasefire took hold on November 23.

Hundreds of rockets from Gaza were struck down by the Iron Dome in the latest offensive.

Ehud Barak, Israeli defence minister, said the success of Iron Dome highlighted the "immense importance" of such systems.

370

Source:
Al Jazeera And Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Chinese scientists are designing a particle-smashing collider so massive it could encircle a city.
Critics say the government is going full-steam ahead on economic recovery at the expense of human rights.
Spirits are high in Scotland's 'Whisky Capital of the World' with one distillery thirsty for independence.
President Poroshenko arrives in Washington on Thursday with money and military aid on his mind, analysts say.
Early players in private medicine often focused on volume over quality, turning many Chinese off for-profit care.
join our mailing list