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Thursday, January 7, 2010
In test, Iron Dome successfully intercepts rockets
"Israel inched a step closer on Wednesday to deploying the Iron Dome missile defense system along the border with the Gaza Strip after it successfully intercepted a number of missile barrages in tests held in southern Israel this week. Iron Dome successfully... The tests were overseen by the Defense Ministry, the Israel Air Force and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., which developed the Iron Dome, slated to become operational and be deployed along the Gaza border in mid-2010. The missile volleys which the system succeeded in intercepting included a number of rockets that mimicked Kassam and longer range Grad-model Katyusha rockets that are known to be in Hamas's arsenal. The Iron Dome is supposed to be capable of intercepting all short-range rockets fired by Hamas in the Gaza Strip and by Hizbullah in Southern Lebanon. The system uses an advanced radar made by Elta that locates and tracks the rocket, which is then intercepted by a kinetic missile interceptor. During the test, the radar succeeded in detecting which rockets were headed towards designated open fields and therefore did not launch an interceptor to destroy them. The IDF has formed a new battalion that will be part of the IAF's Air Defense Division and will operate the Iron Dome. Prototypes have been supplied to the new unit, which has already begun training with the systems."