Right after the successful performance of the Iron Dome during Operation Pillar of Defense in the recent conflict with Hamaz in Gaza, Israel has successfully tested a new anti-rocket defense system, called The Magic Wand.
Here’s what we know about it.
1. It’s Built to Guard Against Hezbollah
Magic Wand is designed to defend against medium- to long-range rockets, covering those fired from a range of up to 300 kilometers. It works by following the moves of an incoming missile and then detonates it in the air, like the Iron Dome. Iron Dome does well against Hamas’ short-range, poorly guided rockets lobbed over the Gaza border. But Magic Wand has the capability to target sophisticated cruise missiles like those believed to be in the possession of Hezbollah in Lebanon.
2. It’s Also Known as David’s Sling
So I guess the Arab world is Goliath.
3. Each Missile Costs $1 Million
4. It Was Successfully Tested
In the first trial run, it successfully intercepted a mid-range missile test-fired over the south of Israel.
5. It Will Be Used in Concert with the Iron Dome and the Arrow Missile
The Magic Wand system has the capabilities between those of the Iron Dome, which intercepts missiles up to 75 kilometers, and the Arrow, which is used to intercept long-range ballistic missiles.
6. It Possesses Similar Technology to Iron Dome
Like Iron Dome, Magic Wand uses a sophisticated radar system to track its targets.
7. It’s Not Staged in Batteries
Magic Wand is considered the first interceptor of its kind. And unlike the Iron Dome, it’s a system “without batteries that operates as a national unit,” said the Defense Ministry.
8. It’s Designed in Collaboration with America
The Magic Wand was developed jointly by the Israeli military contractor Rafael Advanced Defense System and U.S. defense manufacturer Raytheon.
9. It Will Be Put into Use in 2014
The release of the system has been pushed back several times in the past, but the recent results bode well for the project and it is expected to be operational before 2015.
10. The Next Step is Warhead Interception
In this most recent test, no warhead was attached to the missile, but in the future, a more advanced trial with a warhead will be used to test its capabilities.