Israel Successfully Tests Magic Wand Anti-missile System

The system against short- to medium-range rockets is due to be ready for service soon.

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Magic Wand antimissile system being tested. Jan. 25, 2017.
Magic Wand antimissile system being tested. Jan. 25, 2017. Credit: Defense Ministry
Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen

The Defense Ministry said Wednesday it had successfully tested the air force’s Magic Wand missile interception system, which was close to becoming operational.

The head of the ministry’s Homa administration for air-defense systems said “the success was complete.” Magic Wand protects against short- and medium-range rockets.

In the test, targets were launched that defense officials said best resembled the threats Israel would face in the future. The targets simulated precision rockets and rockets with warheads weighing hundreds of kilograms.

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The Israel Air Force already has a preliminary version of Magic Wand expected to become operational shortly. The small founding group of the Magic Wand unit conducted the tests with people from the state-owned company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

Rafael is the main contractor for the system along with other defense firms like Elta, Elbit and Massachusetts-based Raytheon, which is a partner in the development and production of the launching system. Magic Wand is a joint project of Israel and the United States, including the U.S. Missile Defense Agency.

Magic Wand antimissile system being tested on January 25, 2017Credit: Defense Ministry

“We tested the systems against a number of scenarios that simulate future threats the system will likely face during a confrontation,” Moshe Fatal, head of the Homa administration, told military reporters.

“The Magic Wand system is meant to provide an additional layer of defense against short- and medium-range missiles and rockets, especially precision ones, and give the Arrow system more interception opportunities.”

An array of interception systems are due to watch over the home front; the system used at any given time will be based on the incoming rocket or missile.

Thus Iron Dome will be used against short-range rockets and Magic Wand against short- and medium-range rockets. In the future, Magic Wand will also be used against drones.

The Arrow system, meanwhile, will be used against medium- to long-range rockets, and the Arrow 3 against ballistic missiles to be intercepted outside the atmosphere. Last week the Defense Ministry and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency delivered the first Arrow 3 interceptors to the IAF.

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