Israel's short-range rocket-based missile interception system will become operational in 18 months, local daily Ha'aretz reported Thursday.
Officials at Rafael, or the national authority for the development of weapons and military technology, were quoted assaying that the system, named Iron Dome, will use the Israel Defense Forces' early warning radar system to identify short-range missiles and rockets in flight.
It will not only have the ability to intercept Qassam rockets that usually fired by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, but is also meant to protect against the Lebanese Hezbollah and Syria's Katyusha rockets, they said.
According to the report, after the launch is confirmed, Iron Dome will locate the speeding rocket through a dedicated radar. Once the system acquires the rocket as a target, it will launch a rocket of its own to intercept the missile mid-flight.
The entire target acquiring process is performed in less than one second. And so, the system is designed to launch the intercepting rocket approximately one second after the rocket is detected on radar.
A single Iron Dome launch costs from 30,000 to 40,000 U.S. dollars, said Ha'aretz.
On Wednesday, Ha'aretz also reported that the Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak is insisting on commissioning an operational Iron Dome system as a prerequisite for an Israeli pullout from the West Bank.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 10 Ağustos 2007, 09:53