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Patriots Step In When Arrows Fail To Shoot Down Qassams

Artist's rendition of a deployed PAC3 patriot missile.
by Martin Sieff
UPI Senior News Analyst
Washington (UPI) Aug 01, 2006
Israel's inability to intercept incoming rockets has prompted its defense forces to field a limited early-warning capability, the British journal Flight International reported Tuesday.

The Israel Defense Forces has deployed a U.S.-built Patriot missile battery to the northern city of Haifa -- which has so far been hit by over 1,000 projectiles -- to provide a one minute warning of incoming fire.

Israel's two Arrow anti-ballistic missile batteries, built by Israel Aircraft industries, are incapable of defending against the less-sophisticated rockets, the report said.

Israel in May selected a joint proposal from Rafael Industries in Israel and Raytheon in the United States to develop a "hit-to-kill" weapon to meet a new requirement for a short-range anti-ballistic missile defense system. Intended to intercept Qassam rockets fired from Gaza and missiles launched from Lebanon, the system will be developed using funding from Israel and the United States, Flight International said.

In the first phase of the fighting in southern Lebanon, the Israeli Air Force tried to stop the rocket barrage almost on its own, with ground forces later crossing the Lebanese border. But it has had had only limited success so far.

Source: United Press International

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