Israel completes tests on airline defense system

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Associated Press

Posted on February 26, 2014 at 12:32 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 26 at 1:33 PM

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's defense ministry says it successfully completed final testing on a system that protects commercial planes from missile attacks.

Eitan Eshel, head of research and development at the ministry, said Wednesday that testing of the "Sky Shield" system was "100 percent successful."

The system integrates laser technology with a thermal camera to protect aircraft against missiles fired from the ground. It deflects missiles fired at aircraft by changing their direction.

Eshel did not say when the system, under development for about a decade, would become operational.

Islamic militants fired two surface-to-air missiles at an Israeli charter plane shortly after takeoff in Mombasa, Kenya, in 2002. The missiles missed their target but spurred an Israeli effort to improve countermeasures.

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