Skyshield Air Defense System being considered

Tuesday, September 05, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
The Israeli Ministry of Defense has recently approached the American Lockheed Martin with a request to test and upgrade its Skyshield Air Defense system for possible use against Hizballah rockets.

The system, a high powered, rapid fire air defense system uses 35 millimeter shells that can sufficiently damage an incoming missile or rocket and cause it to miss its target. Although the system is manufactured by Lockheed Martin, one of the world’s largest defense contractors, the system itself was developed by the Switzerland-based Oerlikon Contraves Corporation.

The Ministry of Defense had approached Lockheed Martin even prior to the war to test its capabilities against incoming Katyusha rockets fired by Hizballah and against Kassam rockets fired from Gaza. Sources close to the project say that tests are ongoing in the United States and that they plan to be completed in the next few weeks.

In the past years several air defense systems have been tested and considered for the task of defending the skies against short and medium range rockets fired at Israel. Those systems include Northrop Grumman's Nautilus Skyguard air-defense system, the Vulcan Phalanx cannon, already installed on Navy missile ships and used to intercept incoming anti-ship missiles, and the Israeli made Barak antimissile system developed by Rafael.

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