The Happy Arab News Service

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

The Arrow

Recent modifications made to the Arrow enable Israel's ballistic missile defense system to successfully intercept and destroy any ballistic missile in the Middle East, including nuclear-capable missiles under development by Iran, Arieh Herzog, the head of the Defense Ministry's Homa Missile Defense Agency, has told The Jerusalem Post.

In a rare interview that will appear in full in Monday's Post, Herzog provides an inside look at the decision-making process behind Israel's missile defense systems, led by the Israeli- and American-developed Arrow missile, one of the only operational ballistic missile defense systems in the world.

Herzog said that Iran/Syria were investing in their ballistic capabilities on an unprecedented scale virtually giving up on developing modern air forces. He also said that while the Arrow cannot intercept some of the Iranian missiles, all of their long range ballistic missiles can be destroyed by the IDF missile defense system.

Discussing the Second Lebanon War, Herzog said a missile defense system that was effective against the short-range Katyusha - close to 4,000 struck northern Israel - could have changed the outcome in Israel's favor.

"Active protection can dramatically reduce the number of casualties," he said, adding that this would also provide the government with improved "diplomatic maneuverability."

Such a system also serves as a deterrent. "If someone thinks that a large percentage of his missiles will be intercepted, he will think twice before attacking," Herzog said.


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