Israel Eyes Laser, Cannon for Downing Gaza Rockets

[Reuters] Dan Williams - A super-heating laser beam and radar-activated heavy machinegun are among technologies Israel is considering for shooting down Palestinian rockets launched from Gaza, but such counter-measures are months or years away, Israeli security sources said Sunday. The Phalanx, deployed among U.S. forces in Iraq last year, is a U.S.-made cannon that automatically locks on to rockets or mortars and shreds them with explosive 20 mm bullets. The system also relays the location of launch crews so they can be bombed from the air. Israel had voiced interest in buying Phalanx, though its protective radius is limited and the prospect of heavy machineguns nestled in populated areas and firing into the air with little warning has raised eyebrows. "As long as we cannot reliably stop the rockets before they land, we will have no choice but to go in and prevent them from being launched in the first place," a security source said.

2006-07-10 01:00:00

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