Date corresponds to Israel's prediction of Iran's nuclear weapons attainment; next stage in defense system aims at stopping Iranian, Syrian missiles.
Israel's Iron Dome defense network, which includes short-range rocket interceptors and kamikaze satellites that blast ballistic missiles in space, was slated to be fully implemented by 2015, officials said Monday, according to a Reuters report.
The projected date was announced during a government-sponsored aerospace conference in Jerusalem, and corresponds to Israel's prediction of when Iran might have nuclear weapons.
"In the next two to five years, we will turn this vision into a reality," said Colonel Zvika Haimovitch of the Israeli air defense corps, as quoted by Reuters. "Within the coming five years, we will see this doctrine implemented."
Israel's Arrow interceptor, which is designed to intercept Iranian and Syrian ballistic missiles at high altitudes, is the next stage of the Iron Dome.
The Arrow III upgrade will release a booster-rigged satellite beyond Earth's atmosphere intended to crash into the missile, said project director Yoav Turgeman of the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), reported Reuters.
"We are talking about hermetic protection," Reuters quoted Turgeman as saying. "Even if the new Arrow misses the incoming threat, it will be far enough from Israel's borders to allow for a secondary interception."
Turgeman said the Arrow III's first live trial is expected in 2011, with the estimated cost of each interceptor missile $2 million to $3 million.
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