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Anti-missile shield deployed in Israeli city against Sinai rockets

08-20-2012 19:05 BJT

JERUSALEM, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli military deployed an Iron Dome battery in the southern Red Sea port city of Eilat on Sunday, after Sinai militants fired Grad rocket at the tourist center earlier several days ago, the Jerusalem Post reported on Monday.

The Iron Dome system, produced in Israel with U.S. funding, uses radar-guided missiles to track and blow up short and mid- range (5-70km) rockets in flight.

Its map and GPS-synched programming only fires at projectiles whose ballistic arc is aimed at populated areas, thereby avoiding wasting interceptor rockets on weapons which would otherwise harmlessly fall on open areas.

Iron Dome's four existing batteries have so far been deployed in and around cities and towns exposed to frequent rocket attacks targeted by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.

The system, which went into action over a year ago, has downed well over 100 Grad and Kassam rockets, with an over 80 percent hit rate.

The missile shield is now emplaced in a mountainous area in the northern part of the city, close to the Egyptian border, and only a few hundred meters from residential neighborhoods, the Jerusalem Post reported Monday.

The IDF Spokesman said the measure is part of an effort to familiarize the Iron Dome system with the topography of different regions across the country.

"An Iron Dome battery has been deployed in the town of Eilat as part of tests, momentarily modifying the sites were these systems are and will be deployed," the spokesperson told Xinhua Monday.

The spokesman added that the missile shield is expected to remain in the city for the next few days until its calibration is finished.

"This move is part of a national plan to test the system in different locations throughout the country," the army said.

The army has also tested out the system's integration in the greater Tel Aviv area and in the northern Galilee village of Tzfat near the Lebanese border.

The spokesperson further added that the missile shield is expected to remain in the southern city for the next few days until its calibration is complete.

 

Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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