Israel tests massive inflatable missile detection system


JERUSALEM (AP) – Israel said on Wednesday it had started testing a massive inflatable missile detection system designed to hover at high altitudes and detect long-range threats.

Israel already has a sophisticated set of missile defenses, which were used successfully during the Gaza war that lasted 11 days this year.

The high availability aerostat system looks like a giant airship or a zeppelin. The Department of Defense says it is one of the largest such systems in the world. It was developed in cooperation with a subsidiary of the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries and TCOM, an American manufacturer of aerostats.

Israel has acted aggressively in recent years to counter potential threats from Iran, the Hezbollah militant group in Lebanon and the militant Hamas leadership in Gaza, all of whom have large arsenals of rockets capable of hitting major cities. .

During the Gaza war, Hamas fired rocket barrages at Tel Aviv in an attempt to overwhelm Israel’s Iron Dome defense system, but Israeli officials say it shot down around 90 percent of the projectiles it aimed at.

Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes against what it has called militant targets. The fighting has killed more than 250 Palestinians, including 129 civilians, according to the United Nations. There were 13 deaths on the Israeli side.

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