Strategic Weapons: September 1, 2002

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Israel reports that it has developed and deployed a command-control system able to detect a ballistic missile launch anywhere in the theater and compute its impact point. This gives the Israelis about seven minutes of warning against a missile attack on their country. The previous ground-based radars gave Israel only four minutes, and sometimes as little as two minutes. The new system can be used to cue the Arrow-2 anti-missile system, giving it extra time to engage. No data has been released on how this new system operates, whether from an aircraft or a satellite. The Israelis seem to want that to remain a mystery less countermeasures be devised, and simply want potential enemies to know that an attack will now be much more likely to produce a devastating reaction. Chances of a counterforce attack against Israel's Jericho-II nuclear missiles appear to have evaporated. Israel proved that the system was real by releasing data on a Syrian Scud test from April 2001.Stephen V Cole

 


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