View Full Version : Israel to Use Missile Shield to Counter Scuds

10-06-02, 11:35 AM
With the Hezbollah terrorist in southern Lebanon having deployed thousands of surface-to-surface rockets aimed at Israel. Israel new defensive shield agaisnt Iraq, may not help that much except against biological weapons.

If Iraq strikes at Israel and Israel finds it self also facing incoming Hezbollah rockets being fired on it from Lebabon, a country controlled by Syria, you can bet that Israel with destroy Syria within the first few moments of being attacked. If that happens, we are in for a serious war in the Middle East where thousands will be baked in the desert sands from Lebanon through Jordan and eastward pass Iraq and Iran.

Just my thoughts



Israel Set to Use New Missile Shield to Counter Scuds
October 6, 2002

ALMACHIM AIR FORCE BASE, Israel Israel has deployed an operational missile defense and is ready to use it to protect Tel Aviv and other major population centers if they come under fire from Iraq's arsenal of Scud missiles.

Known as the Arrow, the system is designed to avoid the pitfalls of the American Patriot system, which Israelis say had little success in stopping Iraq's Scud missile attacks during the Persian Gulf war in 1991.

The program, which will cost more than $2 billion, is partly financed by the United States. One battery is already deployed here, and when the final interceptors and radars are installed about two years from now, Israel will be the first nation in the world to have a nationwide missile defense system.

If the Bush administration follows through with its threats to attack Iraq, and Saddam Hussein lashes out at Israel, the Arrow could be put to the test in what would be an important trial of antimissile technology.

"It would be the first time in history that an interceptor that was developed strictly to shoot down incoming missiles is used," a Pentagon official said. "The Patriot used in 1991 was designed to shoot down airplanes and modified to give it some kind of antimissile capability. But from the start, the Arrow was built to intercept ballistic missiles. The whole world will be watching to see what happens, and we will be watching."

At the heavily guarded Palmachim air force base south of Tel Aviv, the Israeli military has been preparing for one of Israel's worst nightmares: a salvo of Al Hussein Scud missiles from Iraq, possibly carrying chemical or biological agents. The flight time for an Iraqi Scud to a target in Israel is only about six or seven minutes.

Wearing gas masks and protective suits, Arrow crews practice reloading the Arrow missile launcher in an environment contaminated with chemical agents. In the fire control center, Israeli officers practice tracking and intercepting incoming Scud missiles under various attack scenarios. Unlike the Patriot system used in the gulf war, whose fire control system was essentially automated, the Israeli system allows military officers to decide when to fire the Arrow interceptor.

At a firing site, huge launchers, each loaded with six Arrow interceptors, stand at the ready while Israel's Green Pine radar scans the skies.

"We did a lot of testing, and most were successful," said Danny Peretz, the program manager for the Arrow at Israel Aircraft Industries, which makes the system. "But we know in our hearts and put it in the design that this weapon will be tested only in war."

The Arrow has its origins in President Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative. After Mr. Reagan began his "Star Wars" program, Israel joined in the research and development effort. At first there was considerable debate in Israel as to whether it really needed a missile shield, a dispute that was essentially ended during the gulf war when 39 Iraqi Scud missiles struck Israeli territory.

"There were lot of arguments that Israel was so powerful that nobody would launch a missile at us," Mr. Peretz said. "But that all changed in 1991. Would anybody dare launch a missile at Israel? Well, somebody did."

After the conflict, the Israeli government decided that it needed its own antimissile system and that the system needed to do a better job of stopping Scuds than the Patriot did. The Arrow program moved into high gear.

The Arrow is what military experts call a theater defense system, meaning it is designed to intercept medium- and short-range missiles, not ocean-spanning intercontinental missiles. But because Israel is such a small country, the three batteries it plans to deploy will be a true nationwide system, protecting all of Israel's territory.

The primary threats are from the east and north, and they are growing. Iraq has a small covert force of Al Hussein Scuds, according to American and British intelligence. Iran is on the verge of fielding the Shahab-3, which will have the range to strike Israel. Syria is also building up its force of Scud missiles. Israel has used the Green Pine radar to monitor tests of Syria's Scud-D missile. If Libya improves its missiles, Israel will face a potential threat from the west as well.

Operated by the Israeli Air Force, one Arrow battery has been operational here at the Palmachim base for two years. The deployment of the second battery in central Israel was delayed when people who lived nearby complained that the Green Pine radar might endanger their health.

The Israelis are trying to make the second battery operational before any American attack on Iraq. As a stopgap, the Arrow missile launchers from the second battery can be linked to Palmachim battery to improve its effectiveness, an Israeli Defense Ministry official said.


10-06-02, 11:35 AM
&quot;We can cover the heart of the country and the largest population centers in central Israel and in the north,&quot; said Lt. Col. Shahar Shohat, who commands the Arrow battery here. <br />
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The United States...