Monday, July 7, 2008

Tamir follow-up

This morning Haaretz published another article with additional information on the Tamir test. Yesterday's tests involved the launching of a number of Tamir missiles and engineers evaluated its capabilities, in terms of such variables as effective range, command and control from the ground, speed and maneuverability.

Defense sources estimate that by the end of 2008 Iron Dome will be ready to undergo a major test that will evaluate the system's ability to intercept a rocket. The test will include the launch of a rocket, which Tamir will try to intercept.

A crucial aspect of that test will be the ability of a radar system under development by Elta, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries, to identify, locate and track the incoming rocket, and guide Tamir to its target.

The recent developments of the Tamir made the developers confident that it will be possible to significantly increase the interceptor's speed. This would allow the interception of the rockets a short while after their launch which would increase the likeliness that the Iron Dome will also be effective against mortar. However, one problem remains: if DEBKAfile's information is correct, the Iron Dome needs 15 seconds to locate the incoming rocket and determine the flight path. Even with increased interceptor speed, mortars will already have hit their target before the Tamir will be launched. We will have to wait for the end of the year if Elta will be able to deal with the problem.

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