JERUSALEM, July 15 (UPI) -- Israel successfully completed tests of the Iron Dome defense system, designed to wipe out Qassam rockets and missiles fired at Israel, defense officials said.
The officials said the system successfully intercepted the targets in a number of recent tests. All systems including radar, launcher and interceptors, and control systems functioned well, the officials said. Details of the successful tests were released for publication to local media Wednesday.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak praised the system saying it will provide Israel with a layer of defense against a number of threats, including Qassam rockets and surface-to-surface missiles, Maariv reported.
The Rafael defense systems company, which developed the Iron Dome, said the system is an effective solution for countering short range rockets and 155mm artillery shells in all weather conditions. The system uses a unique interceptor with a special warhead that detonates any target in the air within seconds, the company said.
Iron Dome is expected to become fully operational in 2010, and defense officials said it will provide an effective response to rockets fired from the Gaza Strip or by Hezbollah from southern Lebanon.