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Monday, 24 December 2012

From Today's Papers - 24 Dec 2012
Israel’s ‘Iron Dome’ a great success
Ajay Banerjee/TNS

Sderot (Israel), December 23
The 60-km-long Gaza Strip on the Mediterranean coast poses a threat to neighbouring Israel on a daily basis. Rockets fired by Hamas rebels from the Gaza targeting civilians in Israel have cast a menacing shadow. The most recent flare up in these strife torn and tense parts of the globe saw the Hamas fire some 1529 rockets at Tel Aviv, Ashkelon, Sderot and Ashdod in Israel over a span of two weeks.

Using hi-end technology, Israel shot down most of these rockets limiting damage on its side. The stand-off with the Hamas ended in a ceasefire on November 23. "We had a success rate of 95 per cent in shooting down incoming rockets," says Lt Col Moti Numan of the Israel Defence Forces. Numan was heading the military unit tasked with shooting down the Hamas rockets under an operation code named 'Pillar of Defence' using a new air-defence system, called the 'Iron Dome'.

The need for the Iron Dome was first felt after the 'second Lebanon war' of 2006 when the Hezbollah rebels in Southern Lebanon, located north of Israel, blasted northern parts of the only Jewish majority country in the world. Israel tasked its military research scientists to develop a new system.

The mandate was: detect rockets being fired from enemy territory and then direct own missiles with pinpoint accuracy to bring down the incoming rockets in mid-air. Reaction time was crucial as the distance between a territory like Gaza Strip and closest Israeli settlements varies between 4-7 km. The towns of Sderot and Ashkelon are the closest. Here the government has made it mandatory for residents to have fortified room within their house.

Meaning, a rocket, if not brought down, can hit a target within 12-20 seconds of its launch. Hence was born the Iron Dome, a new system showcasing the Israeli prowess in precision weaponry and capability of working with short reaction times. After Russia, Israel is India's biggest supplier of military hardware like radars, missiles and sensors.

To explain the Iron Dome and the latest 'aggression' from Hamas, Israel invited a group of Indian journalists on a visit to worst targeted areas. The first of the 'Iron dome" launchers was used in April 2011. "Now it stands fully integrated with sensors, radars and five batteries that ring the Gaza strip located in south western edge of Israel", said one of senior developers of the system.

In November this year, when the Hamas ramped up its firing on Israeli targets like thermal power stations and civilian homes, the 'Iron Dome' was unleashed. The Hamas this time also used the Iranian origin Fajr-5 rockets with 70-km range to target the economic hub of Tel Aviv only be foiled. "The Iron Dome is one of layers of air defence, not the only one," said an Israeli official.

the missile shield

* The Iron Dome system was built in response to the ongoing rocket attacks by Hamas rebels from the Gaza targeting civilians in Israel

* It showcases the Israeli prowess in precision weaponry and capability of working with short reaction times

* The need for the Iron Dome was first felt after the ‘second Lebanon war’ of 2006 when the Hezbollah rebels bombed northern parts of Israel
Deal on air-launched BrahMos missile signed

New Delhi, December 23
Ahead of President Vladimir Putin’s visit, India and Russia have signed a deal for working together to develop the air-launched version of the 290-km-range BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, which will be fitted to the Su-30MKI combat aircraft of the IAF.
An agreement was signed between BrahMos Aerospace, Russian Rosoboronexport and Sukhoi Design Bureau for developing the air-launched version of the missile here on Friday, Defence Ministry officials said here.

The two sides have been holding negotiations for the joint development for quite some time now and are now hopeful that the first test of the missile would be done within next six months, they said. Recently, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) had cleared an IAF proposal worth over Rs 6,000 crore to buy BrahMos missiles for their integration with Russian-origin Su-30MKI.

As per plans, the first test of the air-launched version of the supersonic cruise missile, developed jointly by India and Russia, is to be conducted by middle of next year.

Two Su-30MKI of the IAF would also be modified by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at its Nashik facility where the planes will be integrated with the aerial launcher developed by the BrahMos, they said.

BrahMos missiles integrated on the Su-30s will help the IAF achieve the capability to deliver a deadly blow to enemy formations from stand-off ranges of around 300 km. — PTI
New system to boost IAF air-defence vigil
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
To boost its air defence set-up and enhance situational awareness capabilities, the IAF is going in for the induction of a "passive surveillance and electronic intelligence system" (PSEIS). The PSEIS will supplement the conventional radar coverage.

The system will generate a three-dimensional "air-situation picture" by providing location and tracking of airborne, ground and marine targets, regardless of whether these emit radiations or not, a request for information issued by the IAF a few days ago states.

The system would be capable of detection, location, identification and tracking of active and passive targets within its area of coverage. It would comprise of a cluster of sensor stations all reporting their detections simultaneously to the master receiving and processing centre that will process information for detection of targets and formation of tracks.

Typically, one system would comprise three to six sensor stations each (situated around by 20-35 km away) linked to one master control station. It would be possible to network many such systems deployed in a particular sector to generate an overall picture of the sector at a single master station.

The PSEIS, though ground-based, would be fully mobile and have a short set-up time. The passive surveillance module would generate a comprehensive air-situation picture through reception and processing of reflections of other transmissions in the radio frequency spectrum, while the electronic intelligence module would intercept, process, analyse and report all types of radar transmissions.
Indian Army Chief assures full commitment to Sri Lanka’s security
The visiting Indian Chief of Army Staff General Bikram Singh as a part of his current official visit to the island called on the Sri Lanka’s Commander-in-Chief President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo Thursday.
During discussions with the President, the Indian Army Chief assured his government’s full commitment to Sri Lanka’s security and expressed that the Indian government and the military are committed to further strengthening cooperation between the two countries. He thanked the President for erecting the monument commemorating the Indian Peace Keeping Force.
Recalling the cordial and historic relations that continue to exist between the two countries, President Rajapaksa underlined the need for further fostering of such cooperation and understanding since both nations are the closest neighbors to each other in the Indian Ocean.
The visiting Army Chief presented a Buddha statue to President Mahinda Rajapaksa to mark the occasion. Indian High Commissioner in Colombo Ashok K. Kantha, Major General Rajeev Tewari and the Defense Attaché at the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka Captain Sumith Kapoor were present for the discussion as well as the Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga and Army Commander Jagath Jayasuriya. General Singh also called on Secretary Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Ministry of Defense. Earlier on the day (20), General Bikram Singh paid courtesy calls on the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Roshan Goonetileke, Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage and the Commander of the Air Force, Air Marshal H.D Abeywickrema at their respective Headquarters in Colombo.

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