JERUSALEM, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Israel successfully
completed a series of tests of the Iron Dome missile defense system, designed
for defending Israel from short-range rocket and missile attacks, the Israeli
Defense Ministry said Wednesday.
A number of rockets were intercepted successfully in the tests of the
system over the past days, local new service Ynet reported, quoting defense
The Iron Dome system, developed by state-owned Rafael
Defense Systems, consists of a radar, control system, launcher and interceptor.
The Defense Ministry said that all parts of the system worked well in the tests.
Rocket fire has long been a major security threat to
the Jewishstate, with its northern part subject to such attacks from Lebanon and
its southern part frequently battered by rockets from the Gaza Strip.
The Iron Dome was expected to be operational in 2010,
and the Israel Defense Force has established a special battalion to operate it,
which will be part of the Israel Air Force (IAF), local newspaper Jerusalem Post
"A multi-level defense system is a strategic goal for
the State of Israel and will provide a layer of protection against short-range
rockets," Defense Minister Ehud Barak was quoted as saying, "This will allow the
IDF to fulfill its obligation to protect Israel in the best way that it can."
A senior IAF commander said at an academic conference
in May that Israel will have operational missile defense systems on three
The Iron Dome system would be operational and
deployed along the border in 2010. A second system David's Sling, designed to
intercept medium-range rockets, would be operational within four years.
Shortly afterwards, the Arrow 3, an advanced version
of the current long-range system in IAF operation, would be declared