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Blast-off: 6 recent missile advances

Missiles have been prominent in the news with India’s successful test, North Korea’s failed one, and much talk of missile defense systems in Europe and the Persian Gulf. Here are six recent noteworthy missile-technology advances.

6. Israel’s Iron Dome

Perhaps the most advanced existing missile shield is Israel’s Iron Dome, a network of missile batteries around southern Israel and Gaza.  Designed in Israel and funded in part by the US, the Iron Dome system tracks inbound rockets and quickly predicts their likely destination. If the impact zone is in a populated area, the system launches an interceptor to destroy the rocket.

While expensive – batteries cost $21 million each – Iron Dome has been highly successful, with the Pentagon recently estimating that the system shot down 80 percent of the missiles fired from Gaza. The Pentagon hopes to have Congress allocate more money to the project in the current budget year. 

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