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Thursday, October 16, 2008

New IAF system will pinpoint Iranian missile targets in Israel

What use will this be against a nuclear attack?
Last update - 08:32 16/10/2008       
New IAF system will pinpoint Iranian missile targets in Israel
By Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondent
The Israel Air Force is developing a computerized system to predict where a missile will land with considerable accuracy, very shortly after it is launched. That would enable the Home Front Command to order people into shelters only in a relatively small area, rather than in broad regions of the country.
Currently the country is divided into 10 large districts for the purpose of missile alerts, and at every missile launch, everyone in the relevant district is ordered into shelters. But when the new system is completed, in an estimated 18 months, the country will instead be divided into about 100 districts.
As an interim step, the army hopes to be able to divide the country into 27 districts by next year.
The idea behind the system is that if fewer people have to run for shelter every time a missile falls, the country will be better able to endure prolonged missile barrages, as most people will be able to continue with life as usual. In light of the army's assessment that any future war will include sustained missile attacks, bolstering Israelis' ability to live with such attacks was considered essential.
However, the system is designed mainly for use against medium- and long-range missiles, such as the Syrian Scud or the Iranian Shihab.
Until recently, Israel relied on a system that was developed during the 1991 Gulf War, which could predict a missile's landing site only in very general terms. A slightly more sophisticated system was improvised and put into use during the Second Lebanon War in 2006, but later, the IAF decided to develop a whole new system that would enable relatively precise predictions.
According to army sources, the new system will collect data from numerous sources, including both radar and electro-optic sensors. Inter alia, it will make use of the sophisticated American radar currently being installed in the Negev, which is slated to become operational next month. The data will then be analyzed to determine the missile's path and where it is likely to land, both in order to try to intercept it, and to warn those who will be in danger if the interception fails.
Meanwhile, the Home Front Command has also been working to upgrade its siren system, which warns of incoming missiles. It now says that almost 100 percent of the country is within audio range.

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