Iron Dome to be deployed in 2010

IAF commander predicts David's Sling, Arrow 3 defense systems to be operational within 4 years.

nehushtan 248 88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
nehushtan 248 88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Israel will have operational missile defense systems on three different levels within four years, Air Force commander Maj.-Gen. Ido Nehushtan predicted Wednesday. Speaking at a conference on missile defense at the Fischer Brothers Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies, in Herzliya, Nehushtan said that the Iron Dome system, designed to intercept Kassam and Katyusha rockets fired from the Gaza Strip, would be operational and deployed along the border in 2010. A second system, called David's Sling and under development by Rafael and Raytheon to intercept medium-range rockets, would be operational within four years, he said. Shortly afterwards, the Arrow 3 - an advanced version of the current long-range system in IAF operation - would be declared operational. While these systems would be operational in the coming years, currently the IDF was not doing an effective job in providing security for the residents of southern Israel, he said. "We feel that we are not providing an appropriate solution to the citizens of Israel," he added. Nehushtan revealed that the IAF was also looking into future laser solutions for intercepting long-range ballistic missiles. Boeing is currently developing an airborne laser - called ABL - that will be capable of locating and tracking missiles in their boost phase and then destroying them with a high-energy laser.