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Israeli anti-missile system soon active

Israeli anti-missile system soon active
An Israeli soldier walks near the Iron Dome, a new anti-rocket system, stationed near the southern city of Beersheba, Israel, March 27, 2011. The Israeli Defense Force deployed the $200 million Iron Dome system in response to dozens of rockets fired by Palestinian militants from Gaza in the past weeks. The Iron Dome is meant to protect Israeli towns from rockets fired from Gaza. UPI/Debbie Hill | License Photo

TEL AVIV, Israel, June 1 (UPI) -- The Magic Wand mid-range anti-missile system is expected to be operational within months enhancing Israel's ability to counter threats, an official said.

"Over the next few months we will be conducting full system test runs and may declare Magic Wand fully operational in the very near future," Col. (Reserves) Pini Yungman, head of the project for Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, said at a New Tech conference on military developments Tuesday, Ynetnews.com reported.

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Yungman added the missile defense system's development has progressed faster than initially planned.

"The system would be able to tackle threats which are currently considered only potential. The purpose is to be able to target all short-range missiles, as well as cruise missiles and targets the Arrow missile system opts to defer," the Web site quoted him saying.

Once operational, the Magic Wand system will fill a gap in Israel's multi-layered missile defense system designed to intercept rockets and missiles fired by Iran, Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon or Hamas in Gaza.

The Iron Dome system can shoot down short range missiles such as the Qassam rockets fired at Israel from Gaza, and the joint Israeli-American Arrow missile system has the ability to intercept long-range missiles such as the Iranian Shihab missile.

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