The Israeli Air Force is finishing up the preparations for the absorption of a sixth Iron Dome battery. The battery is expected to arrive from Rafael Advanced Defense Systems within two months, and it may happen as early as next month. Within the aerial defense system, troops have completed staff preparations.
The battery will have similar capabilities to those of the fifth Iron Dome battery – with the possibility of intercepting several rockets at once, longer ranges than before and from different directions. Defense budget cuts are not expected to affect the IDF’s continued military buildup of the Iron Dome system, and through January 2014, two additional batteries are expected to be deployed.
Meanwhile, the army is waiting for the delivery of the Magic Wand system, which is supposed to intercept rockets from an even larger distance. The system was presented this week by Rafael at the Paris Airshow.
The main goal of Magic Wand is to intercept missiles from Lebanon, launched by Hezbollah. Last December, the Defense Ministry, together with the US Missile Defense Agency, completed a preliminary trial of the system, leading to investment in its development.
Magic Wand is supposed to provide coverage for the entire State of Israel, from a small number of sites on which launchers, and the systems to support them, will be placed. If the developers’ expectations are realized, the system will be able to intercept anything coming from a distance in excess of 70 km (43 miles) and threatening damage or casualties inside Israel.
It will intercept not only heavy, long range rockets, but also cruise missiles, and warheads of ballistic missiles (Scuds, Shahabs and Sejils), which the Arrow system will not be able to intercept in space.
The interceptor missile system, based on the most innovative technology, will cost about $1 million. In May 2011, it was estimated by the security establishment that Magic Wand would be operational in 2014.
Read more at YNET NEWS.