Air Defense: Phalanx Turns On Terrorists

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September 1, 2007: The U.S. Navy Phalanx system was originally designed to protect warships from

As originally designed, you turned Phalanx on whenever the ship was likely to have an anti-ship missile fired at it. The Phalanx radar can spot incoming missiles out to about 5,000 meters, and the 20mm cannon is effective out to about 2,000 meters. With incoming missiles moving a up to several hundred meters a second, you can see why Phalanx is set to automatic. There's not much time for human intervention, which is why the Phalanx has to be turned on and set to automatically detect

But since 2003, there have been two major Phalanx mods. In one, the Phalanx was adapted to use on land, against rocket attacks. Using a larger artillery spotting radar, Phalanx directs its fire at incoming mortar shells and rockets. Not all the incoming stuff is hit, but a lot of it is, and every little bit helps. The second mod is for shipboard use, and changes the software so the Phalanx can be used against

Israel is looking at the anti-rocket version, considering it for use to defend northern Israel against another Hizbollah rocket attack. There are nearly 900 Phalanx systems in use,

 


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