November 4th, 2009
Israel reported intercepting a ship that left Iran bound for Hezbollah carrying missiles, rockets, anti-tank weapons.
The ship had the appearance of an aid vessel, and the crew and chartering company claimed not to know what was on board. Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the seizing was “another success against the relentless attempts to smuggle weapons to bolster terrorist elements threatening Israel’s security,” and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the weapons were “intended to hit Israeli cities.”
Almost eight years ago, Israel intercepted a ship carrying weapons to Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.
The U.S. and Israel recently conducted two joint missile drills, Juniper Cobra. The most recent drill was a simulated response to an attack by the Islamic Republic, Syria, and Hezbollah. Among the systems tested were the Arrow II, THAAD, Aegis, and PAC-3. Israel’s Iron Dome is an anti-rocket shield designed to defend Israel from Hamas and Hezbollah rockets and also serves as a major component in a multi-layered missile defense system. The U.S. and Israel are working together to develop Arrow III, designed to destroy multiple-warhead missiles and decoys.
Eli Shaked, former Israeli ambassador to Egypt, said this about Hamas and Hezbollah:
“The situation is becoming more and more complex because the weapons they are acquiring are more and more dangerous to civilian targets in Israel.”
(Story source: Associated Press – Image source: GlobalSecurity.org)
November 4th, 2009
Israel reported that Palestinian rebels successfully test-fired an Iranian rocket that can reach Tel Aviv. Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin said the rocket’s range is 37 miles, eight miles longer than the Grad used by Hamas. This summer, Israel’s Iron Dome system intercepted and destroyed a short-range Grad rocket, similar to the Katyusha rocket used by the Lebanese Hezbollah militia. (Source)
Israel is in Iran’s sights, and the rogue state’s development of short-range rockets, coupled with longer-range Shehab and Sajjil missiles, puts Israel in a dangerous position. As mentioned in the previous post, Israel has been testing the Arrow II, THAAD, Aegis, and PAC-3 and working to improve its Iron Dome anti-rocket shield.
Defense contractor Raytheon recently won two contracts worth over $100 million to develop Israel’s David’s Sling Weapons System. Mike Booen of Raytheon said, “Large-caliber rockets and short-range ballistic missile threats are inexpensive, plentiful, easily concealed and largely exempt from international arms control accords. Stunner [interceptor] offers a near-term and affordable solution to this asymmetric threat.” counter short-range ballistic missiles, large-caliber rockets and cruise missiles in their terminal phase of flight.
April 27th, 2009
The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) is studying a new missile defense system with the capacity to launch the SM-3, an anti-ballistic missile system deployed on the Aegis-equipped destroyer. (Source)
In case of an attack, and the SM-3 (500-kilometer radius) fails to shoot down missiles in the air, PAC-3 (10 kilometer-radius) can serve as a back-up to intercept missiles before they hit the ground. An excerpt:
“[I]n an effort to make better use of SM-3s, the new system being considered would allow missiles to be launched from both the ground and the sea at the initial intercept stage, sources said…The MDA has recently developed technology that would allow a system that combines antiballistic missiles such as SM-3s with various radar networks used in other systems.”
September 25th, 2008
On September 17, Japan test-fired a Patriot Advanced Capability – 3 (PAC-3) missile at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, the first time a foreign PAC-3 was fired at the range. Retired U.S. army lieutenant and Lockheed vice president of air and missile and defense Dennis Calvin said, “The Japanese were well trained. The missile shot came off without any hitches and was extremely successful. We used a surrogate tactical ballistic missile for the test.” (Defense News)
Are there Russian spies in the Czech Republic? According to Czech counterintelligence, there are, and they’re trying to stir up dissention over that country’s planned missile defense radar base. Spies allegedly contacted organizations, politicians, and the media to spread propaganda. (AP)
Good news about Congress, at last. Democrats, who’d been blocking funding for missile defense bases in Poland and the Czech Republic, “likely” will concede to allow construction on the base in Poland, with “sharply” reduced funding. According to the AP, the bill would allow full funding for the base in the Czech Republic. (AP)
August 13th, 2008
Kevin Mooney at CNSNews has written an informative story about missile defense in the present war in Iraq.
The war in the Gulf has proved a training ground, so to speak, for the U.S. Army’s Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) surface-to-air guided missile defense system. Deployed in Kuwait at the start of the war to defend against Scud attacks, PAC-3 successfully intercepted and destroyed Scud missiles, says the Missile Defense Agency.
There have been problems with the technology, however. CNSNews reports that PAC-3 was involved in “friendly fire” incidents. A British warplane was shot down on March 23, 2003, and in April 2004, a Patriot battery shot down a U.S. F/A-18 Hornet.
An excerpt of the article:
“Only two of the successful intercepts during Operation Iraqi Freedom involved PAC-3s, while the other seven were PAC-2s. Looking ahead to the near future, the U.S. military plans to more emphasis on PAC-3s, especially for ground-based systems, Ellison noted.
‘You have to remember that in the 1990s, missile defense was still a science project,’ he observed. ‘We were still in the research and development stage. This changed after withdrawing from the ABM Treaty [Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972] and we had to a do a lot of adapting with what was currently in inventory.’”
The article includes a brief mention of the threat of Islam and successful tests of other anti-missile technology. Read the whole article.
(Photo credit: Raytheon)