Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Israel Tests System to Shoot Down Iranian Missiles

While part of Obama's plan to bring down America is to cut our missile defense systems, Israel is testing theirs in response to the Iranian threat.

Israel tests system to shoot down Iranian missiles
JERUSALEM – Israel successfully tested an anti-missile system designed to protect the country against Iranian attack, the Defense Ministry said, perfecting technology developed in response to failures of similar systems during the 1991 Gulf War.

The intercept of a dummy missile was the 17th test of the Arrow system, a U.S.-Israeli joint venture. Israeli defense officials said the interceptor was an upgraded Arrow II, designed to counter Iran's Shahab ballistic missile.

Israel has identified Iran as its biggest threat, citing the country's nuclear program and its development of long-range ballistic missiles. Those fears have been compounded by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's repeated calls for the destruction of the Jewish state.

Israel believes Iran is developing nuclear weapons that could pose a threat to its existence. Iran denies that and says its nuclear work is for peaceful purposes such as energy production. Israel has threatened military action, and Iran has said it would strike back, warning last month that Israel's own nuclear facilities were within missile range.

Iran's Shahab-3 missiles have a range of up to 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers), putting Israel well within striking distance. Iranian officials were not available for comment on the Israeli test.

In a statement, the Defense Ministry said the interceptor shot down "a missile simulating a ballistic threat in especially challenging conditions." It called the test "an important step in the development program and the development of operational abilities to counter the growing threat of ballistic missiles in the region."

Defense Minister Ehud Barak watched Tuesday's intercept from a military helicopter, the ministry said. According to the Israeli Embassy in Washington, Pentagon representatives also were present.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has made the Iranian threat a top priority of his administration, congratulated defense officials for the successful test. "While we are for peace, we will know how to defend ourselves," he said.

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