Iranian and Korean-made missiles
Iranian and Korean-made missiles Israel news photo: US Missile Defense Agency

The Air Force this past week has tested new anti-missile systems by simulating a large-scale attack from several enemies using missiles ranging from the primitive Kassam rocket to Iran’s advanced Shihab missile.

The computer-simulated tests involved several defense systems, including Iron Dome and Arrow 3, against simultaneous attacks from Gaza, Lebanon and Iran.

The anti-missile systems are expected to become operational over a period of years, with the Iron Dome system against short-range Kassam rockets expected to be ready before the end of 2010.

Lt. Col Avi Cohen, head of the Arrow program, explained that the exercise was staged to help determine how different systems can function in a large-scale attack requiring the use of different anti-missile systems.

He said that intensive purchase programs have enabled the Israel Defense Forces to make breakthroughs in technology, which require testing to enable the Air Force to prepare the systems for operation. Additonal tests are scheduled throughout the year.