Israel’s Defense Ministry and the US’s Missile Defense Agency have completed the first round of tests on the Magic Wand system. The test was reportedly successful raising the chances of future investment.
The interceptor missile system is being developed for the Defense Ministry by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and the US’s Raytheon Co. It was designed to intercept Hezbollah missiles fired from Lebanon.
Israel is counting on the system to become the centerpiece of its air defense layout and provide a solution for a variety of short-range ballistic missiles, large caliber rockets and cruise missiles.
If development goes ahead as planned, the system will be able to intercept any object launched from a distance of at least 70 kilometers.
The system was designed to intercept ballistic missile warheads as well as long-range rockets. The interceptor missile, which is based on the most cutting edge technology in air defense, is estimated to cost $1 million.
In May 2011, defense officials estimated that the Magic Wand would become operational in 2014. Meanwhile, Israel is already working on a more sophisticated system with Boeing.
On Sunday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak congratulated the Israeli engineers working on the system.
“The great success of the Iron Dome batteries during Operation Pillar of Defense proves beyond a shadow of a doubt the tremendous importance of anti-missile systems,” Barak said.
“Israel is a world leader in this department thanks to the Israeli defense industries and its developers.”
A senior official at the Defense Ministry’s research and development department said Sunday’s test was complex. “The current test simulated the relevant threats the system will be called to deal with,” he said.
“This is a landmark in Israel’s operational capability in the multi-layered defense layout. There will be other experiments.”
A senior official at Rafael added, “The Magic Wand’s radar tracked the target from the beginning until interception. Unlike the Iron Dome, it’s a system without batteries that operates as a national unit.”
Source: YNET NEWS