An American radar system that uses X-rays and was placed in the Negev a number of months ago has begun operations.
Its purpose is to warn of ballistic missiles, launched from either Syria or Iran. The security establishment says that new system provided indications of recently held Iranian ballistic missile tests, which it says were impressive.
Israeli security sources say that the Israeli satellite system, together with the Green Pine radar system used by Israel’s Arrow missile defense system, is capable of providing a warning of a few minutes following an Iranian missile launch. However, it cannot predict where the missile’s warhead will hit.
The novelty of the X-ray system is its ability to monitor a missile’s trajectory, such that a more precise warning can be given.
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Recently, the Israel Home Front Command connected with the American radar, significantly improving Israel’s defensive abilities.
Should a missile be launched from Iran, the entire security establishment would be able to provide an accurate warning, even down to a specific area in a specific city -about eight minutes before the missile hits.
This stands in contrast to warnings during the 1991 Gulf War, when everyone ran for shelters or safe rooms whenever an alarm sounded.
However, the Israeli security establishment is aware that despite the great investment in sirens, some areas still lack sirens.
Israel Home Front Command Maj. Gen. Yair Golan ordered that the number of sirens be doubled in 2009. Previously, there was one siren per mile; however, today the current policy is one siren per half a mile.
David Bedein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org