Air Defense: Deadly Dimona, The Desert Deathtrap


December 22, 2010: On December 16, Israel reported that one of their F-16s had shot down an aircraft that had entered the no-fly zone around its nuclear reactor and research center at Dimona (out in the Negev desert). The downed "object" was believed to be an unmanned balloon. The Israelis are seeking the wreckage, to see if this was an espionage effort by someone, or just an accident.

The Israelis defend Dimona air space with surface-to-air missiles and on-call jet fighters. In the last fifty years, no one, as far as the Israelis are aware, has deliberately entered the no-fly zone. But last year, an ultra-light aircraft accidentally entered the zone, but promptly landed when challenged by an Israeli fighter. Back in 1967, the pilot of a damaged Israeli warplane accidentally entered the zone, and was shot down by a surface-to-air missile. The pilot was killed. Dimona is where Israel has built over a hundred nuclear weapons.


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