Strategic Weapons: Israel Tests Defenses Against Iran


December 7, 2005: Israel successfully conducted another test of its Arrow anti-missile system. This time the incoming target was configured to represent an Iranian Shehab-3 ballistic missile. The Iranians are trying to build nuclear warheads for the Shehab-3, which, with a range of 1,300 kilometers, can reach Israel. But right now, the Iranians could only deliver high-explosive or chemical warheads. That wouldn’t do them much good, because Israel could reply with long range fight-bombers carrying nuclear bombs. The Arrow is still a work in progress, a join U.S.-Israel project begun because Israel was desperate for an anti-missile system, and the United States was willing to pay for half the costs, in return for access to the new technology developed. Unfortunately, Arrow was not designed to work against missiles with a longer range (and thus higher warhead speed) than the Shehab-3. Iran is working on such a higher performance missile, the Shehab-4.


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