Sunday, February 11, 2007

via U.S. proxy: Israel testfires anti-missile system in 'message' to Iran

Israel testfires anti-missile system in 'message' to Iran
Feb 11

Israel carried out a successful night-time test of its Hetz (Arrow) anti-missile missile system in what public television described as a "message to Iran".

The defence ministry confirmed the test-firing, the first since December 2005 when the military announced the system was fully operational.

"This test-firing was aimed at checking the functioning of the Hetz at night and in extreme conditions against a ballistic missile," a ministry statement said. "All the system's components worked perfectly."

Public television said that a Hetz fired from the Palmahim base, south of the commercial capital Tel Aviv, intercepted a missile fired from a high-altitude aircraft, the television said.

Public radio said the missile firing was designed to imitate Iran's Shahab-3, which has a range sufficient to reach Israel.

Army radio noted that the firing coincided with the Iranian regime's celebrations for the anniversary of its overthrow of the Western-backed shah in the 1979 Islamic revolution.

For the first three years after its launch in 1988, the United States paid 80 percent of the Hetz project's cost, but now the costs are shared equally.

Since the 2003 overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, the project's primary focus has been Iran, which Israel now sees as its main threat.