Powered by WebAds

Monday, June 04, 2007

(At least) Four more years of Kassams?

The Jerusalem Post is reporting this morning that the government has turned down a US anti-missile system that could protect Sderot today in favor of a system being developed locally by Refael that will might be ready in 2011. This is just insanity!
The first C-RAM, manufactured by Raytheon, was sent to Iraq last year and is used by the Americans to protect the Green Zone in Baghdad. The C-RAM is a variant of the American Vulcan Phalanx, a 20mm cannon designed to defend navy ships from missiles. The cannon is controlled by radar that detects and locks in on incoming enemy projectiles.

While the C-RAM is fully operational and would be available for immediate deployment in, say, Sderot, which has been hit by hundreds of Kassam rockets over the past three weeks, Israel's Defense Ministry has decided not to purchase the system. Instead, it is investing its resources in the "Iron Dome" - an antirocket missile system under development by the Rafael Armament Development Authority and expected to be operational by 2011.

Uzi Rubin, a missile expert and a former director of the ministry's Homa Missile Defense Agency, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that the C-RAM was capable of providing medium-level protection for places such as Sderot. According to Rubin, four C-RAM systems - at a cost of $15 million a piece - could effectively defend Sderot from Kassam rockets.

While also calling for the development of a laser-based system to defend Sderot in the long term, Rubin said the C-RAM - which is capable of protecting isolated military outposts and installations - could provide an effective defense in Sderot and should have been bought by Israel years ago.

"It is a system that has proven to be quite successful," he said. "It disturbs me that nothing was done for years to locate and procure or develop a system that works."

But sources in the Defense Ministry said the C-RAM system was checked by its Research & Development Directorate (MAFAT) and was found to be unsuitable for Sderot. [WHY????? CiJ] While recognizing the C-Ram's relatively high success rate, defense officials told the Post the system could only protect isolated areas of several hundred square meters.
In other words, C-Ram could protect the residential areas of Sderot, but not the surrounding fields, so we're going to turn it down and expose people to Kassam attacks so that we can promote the domestic defense industry? And this when we're required to spend money on US systems every year as part of our agreements to receive aid from the US? This is crazy!!!!

I cannot decide if this is just Israel continuing pursuit of the laser gun out of spite for the US cutting its funding off (see 4th link below) and therefore trying to prove that we can 'go it alone' or Israel just not wanting to admit how bad the situation is in Sderot (and we've seen that before). Unfortunately, it's likely to take a hit on one of those 'strategic facilities' in Ashkelon (with mass casualties R"L) to shake the government into doing something. And they were just talking on the news this morning about what would happen if one of the Electric Company's major power plants went down....

Previously at Israel Matzav:

You can tell these people don't live in Sderot

Israel to buy new, improved Skyshield from Lockheed, but will it be enough?

Israel considering Lockheed Skyshield air defense

US kills Nautilus Laser Gun


Post a Comment

<< Home