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Israel in new step towards anti-missile system

by Staff Writers
Jerusalem (AFP) April 15, 2008
Israel carried out a successful test on Tuesday of a dummy ballistic missile that will be used in the development of an advanced missile interception system, the defence ministry said.

The Blue Sparrow, developed by Israel's Armament Development Authority, Rafael, is launched from a fighter jet at high altitude and simulates the trajectory of a ballistic missile, the ministry said in a statement.

Following the successful firing, the Blue Sparrow will be used in tests of the Israeli-developed and US-financed Arrow system which is intended to intercept ballistic missiles.

The system is the centrepiece of Israeli efforts to counter what it perceives as a strategic threat from arch foe Iran, which has been developing longer-range missiles that the Jewish state fears might ultimately be armed with nuclear warheads.

Israeli concerns have been heightened by repeated predictions from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that the Jewish state is doomed to disappear from the map.

Iran strongly rejects Western suspicions that its nuclear programme is cover for a drive to develop an atomic warhead and counters that Israel, the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear power, is the main threat to the region's security.

On Monday, a senior Israeli official told AFP that the United States has agreed to connect the Jewish state to its planned ballistic missile early warning system.

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Outside View: ABMs for Europe -- Part 1
Moscow, April 15, 2008
The results of the Bucharest NATO summit, the NATO-Russia Council meetings, and talks between U.S. President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi have been summed up in what has now become a standard comment: The NATO summit made up for suspending the Membership Action Plan for Ukraine and Georgia with the full support for the deployment of an American missile shield in Europe. (Nikita Petrov is a Russian military analyst who writes on military issues for RIA Novosti. This article is reprinted by permission of RIA Novosti. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.) (United Press International's "Outside View" commentaries are written by outside contributors who specialize in a variety of important issues. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of United Press International. In the interests of creating an open forum, original submissions are invited.)

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