Israel Tests Offshore Infrastructure Defence System
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have tested successfully a shipborne version of the Iron Dome, an anti-rockets system. The shipborne version was developed in order to protect Israeli offshore gas assets from short-range rockets and missile threats.
Photo: A shipborne Iron Dome anti-rocket system launching an anti rocket missile (IDF)
Its value was proved during Israel's latest confrontations with Hamas-controlled Gaza strip in 2012 and 2014. During the last Gaza war in 2014, the Palestinians tried to shoot at Israeli gas assets, according to Israeli military sources, but missed. However, those attempts have hastened the development of a shipborne version of the Iron Dome.
In February this year the first interception test from an Israeli battle ship was successfully conducted. The anti-rocket launcher was installed on a battle ship that sailed 30 km offshore. At the same time three rockets were launched at a 40 km off shore targets. The Iron Dome system identified the launch and the simulated attack by Grad missiles. After analysing the missiles' trajectories and their assumed landing area decided whether to shoot at them. According to the IDF the test ended with 100% success rate.
The challenge in developing the shipborne Iron Dome was in operating the system on an unstable platform on the sea.
According to Ha'aretz daily towards the end of 2016 a new anti-missile missile, Barake 8, will be tested. That missile should be able to intercept cruise missiles, like the Russian Yakont, a supersonic anti-ship missile, regarded as the biggest threat to Israeli gas assets like Tamar and Leviathan. This missile, with a range of 300 km, might be in the possession of Israel's enemies in the region.
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