(by Uzi Mahnaimi, New York Post) TEL AVIV – Israel is close to completing a missile-defense shield that will destroy Iranian ballistic missiles in space or on their launchpads, a development that boosts the odds of an attack on Iran’s nuclear sites.
Israel’s Iron Dome rocket-defense system successfully knocked out 421 rockets – an 84 percent success rate – in a stunning demonstration of its capabilities during the conflict with Gaza last month.
Iron Dome is just one part of a multi-tiered missile shield being developed by Israeli scientists that will defend the Jewish state from a variety of threats, including the vast stockpile of rockets held by Hezbollah in southern Lebanon and Syria’s armory of Scuds and SS-21 ballistic missiles.
A second defensive system, Magic Wand – known outside Israel as David’s Sling – was successfully tested last week and will be fully operational next year.
A third tier consists of Arrow-2 and the soon-to-be- introduced Arrow-3 – interceptors designed to destroy Iranian long-range ballistic missiles in space before they re-enter the atmosphere.
Some defense experts believe the ability to protect its civilian population will give Israel a freer hand in dealing with the Iranian threat. …
The success of the Iron Dome system has led to a newfound confidence among the Israeli public.
Two weeks ago Tel Aviv residents raced for the shelters after air raid sirens rang out for the first time in 20 years. Two Fajr-5 rockets were successfully intercepted.
By the time a third rocket was launched and shot down a day later, most people hardly bothered to move from their cafe tables on the affluent Rothschild Boulevard.
”This newfound sense of confidence in Tel Aviv is Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s biggest achievement,” said an acquaintance of the prime minister.
”He knows now that when the showdown with Iran comes along, most Israelis will feel a lot more confident.”
Fereydoon Abbasi, the head of Iran’s nuclear program, announced last week that Tehran will step up its uranium enrichment program by sharply increasing the number of centrifuges used to make nuclear fuel. Iran insists its program is peaceful.
Western analysts and most Israelis are convinced that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon. One of the architects of the anti-missile shield said last week: “Many commentators in the West say the Iranians are rational and will not launch an atomic bomb on Israel as they will also kill Muslims.
“But if our enemies are so rational, how come that two weeks ago they fired rockets at Jerusalem, a holy place for Muslims where thousands of their fellow Muslims live?”
Reprinted here for educational purposes only. May not be reproduced on other websites without permission from The New York Post. (Note: This article is originally from London’s Sunday Times.)
1. What is a ballistic missile?
2. Describe the progress of the three-tiered missile defense system Israel has developed/is developing.
3. How will the ability to protect its civilian population, from not only short-range but now long-range missile attacks, influence the Israeli government’s response to Iran’s nuclear weapon’s program?
4. How has the Iron Dome’s success affected the lives of average Israelis?
5. What fact does a scientist working on the anti-missile shield for Israel point out to refute the belief by some that the Iranian government is rational and will not attack Israel with a nuclear weapon when they finally acquire one?
6. Consider the size of Israel compared to its Muslim neighbors (at: sizeofisrael.com). Consider how difficult it is to defend a country this size from mostly hostile neighbors. What is your reaction to Israel’s missile-defense shield?
BALLISTIC MISSILE and DEFENSE:
A ballistic missile is a missile that follows a sub-orbital ballistic flightpath with the objective of delivering one or more warheads (often nuclear) to a predetermined target. The missile is only guided during the relatively brief initial powered phase of flight and its course is subsequently governed by the laws of orbital mechanics and ballistics. To date, ballistic missiles have been propelled during powered flight by chemical rocket engines of various types. (from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballistic_missile)
- National missile defense (NMD) as a generic term is a type of missile defense: a military strategy and associated systems to shield an entire country against incoming Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) or alternately more short-range ballistic missiles. The missiles could be intercepted by anti-ballistic missiles, or possibly by lasers. They could be intercepted near the launch point (boost phase), during flight through space (mid-course phase), or during atmospheric descent (terminal phase).
- Missile defense is a system, weapon, or technology involved in the detection, tracking, interception and destruction of attacking missiles. Originally conceived as a defense against nuclear-armed ICBMs, its application has broadened to include shorter-ranged non-nuclear tactical and theater missiles.
- an anti-ballistic missile (ABM) is a missile designed to counter ballistic missiles (a missile for missile defense; an interceptor). A ballistic missile is used to deliver nuclear, chemical, biological or conventional warheads in a ballistic flight trajectory. The term “anti-ballistic missile” describes any antimissile system designed to counter ballistic missiles. However the term is used more commonly for ABM systems designed to counter long range, nuclear-armed Intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). (from wikipedia)
Watch a November 29th news report from JewishNews1:
Israel’s Iron Dome was tested successfully in March 2011. Read about it at: studentnewsdaily.com/daily-news-article/israelis-welcome-deployment-of-iron-dome.
The Iron Dome was used to protect Israeli cities from Palestinian rockets in April 2011: studentnewsdaily.com/daily-news-article/israel-hails-success-of-new-rocket-interceptor
Read about a test of the Arrow-2 at: defense-update.com/20120210_super_gereen_pine_bms_test-2.html.
Read about the Arrow-3 at: israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/146160#.UL1N05KhBPM
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