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Advanced radar successfully tracked 10-missile salvo in test


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mi.aspGeoStrategy Direct:


Israel's new rocket defense system was said to rely on advanced radar that could detect and assess incoming threats.

Officials said the Iron Dome system has demonstrated consistent interception skills through an advanced mobile radar. They said the multi-mission radar, developed by Israel Aerospace Industries, facilitated the tracking and interception of missile and rocket salvos conducted in trials in July 2010.


"The radar's unique operational capabilities place it among the best worldwide," IAI vice president Nissim Hadas said.


Hadas, also president of IAI's Elta Systems subsidiary, said two radars have been integrated into the Iron Dome battery. He said the radars detected and tracked a salvo of 10 missiles and rockets fired during the latest test of Iron Dome on July 19.


"The MMR family of radars, including the radar integrated in the Iron Dome battery, is based on advanced, modern technology, providing unique capabilities and excellent operational results," Hadas said.


The state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has been the prime contractor of Iron Dome, designed to intercept missiles and rockets with a range of up to 80 kilometers. The system, which took two years to develop and was allocated $205 million by the United States, was scheduled for operational deployment with the Israel Air Force in November 2010.


"During the course of these tests, the defense system discovered a high number of various threats, monitored them, evaluated their trajectories, rearranged the interceptors' trajectories and launched the interceptors which all hit their targets," the Israeli military said on July 20. "All of the systems worked properly in coordination with the other IAF systems and all the threats were destroyed as planned."


IAI described MMR as an advanced portable ground radar that could rapidly identify and track incoming threats. Officials said the radar relays data to a command and control system for a response to enemy missile and rocket launches. Iron Dome also consists of launchers and a C2 component.


"Within the frameworks of the tests which were held in a southern test field, the Iron Dome system had to confront for the first time ever a large number of simultaneous threats," the military said. "The new defense system successfully intercepted every single missile."


The radar was also designed to predict the landing of the incoming projectile, such as the Hamas-origin Kassam and the Soviet-origin Katyusha. The C2 facility, developed by mPrest Systems, was said to be capable of distinguishing between enemy missiles headed for residential areas and those expected to land in open areas.


"If, for example, a Kassam is launched into an open area, the data collected by the radar and passed to the command and control center enable the decision that launching an interception missile would be unnecessary, thus saving a lot of money," IAI said. "The data of the advanced radar enable the system to respond only to a direct threat and not to falls in open areas, thus preventing unnecessary launches."


Officials said the radar along with the rest of Iron Dome would be interoperable with other elements of Israel's missile defense umbrella. They cited the new David's Sling, PAC-2 GEM+ and the Arrow-2 and 3 systems.


"The successful final test of the Iron Dome will increase the orders of batteries, and this will allow a maximum deployment in the field," Defense Ministry director-general Udi Shani said.


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