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    Israel to launch new anti-rocket system

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    ODN

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    A system that can shoot down incoming rockets has passed its last tests and will be ready for deployment in a few months, according to Israel's Defence Ministry.


    If effective, it could have far-reaching strategic implications.


    The "Iron Dome" system uses sophisticated radar to track incoming rockets, intercepting and destroying them far from their targets. It is the only anti-rocket system of its kind in the world.


    Its purpose is to protect Israel from homemade and imported rockets fired by Palestinian militants in Gaza, as well as Katyusha rockets in the hands of Hezbollah guerrillas on Israel's border with Lebanon.


    The statement said the successful tests completed on Monday involved destroying multiple incoming targets in coordination with other air force systems.


    The statement said the first two Iron Dome batteries would be deployed by November. Defence officials said they would be posted near the town of Sderot, near the Gaza border, a favourite target of Palestinian rocket squads.