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DATE=5/4/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=ISRAEL / U-S / RADAR (L ONLY) NUMBER=2-261995 BYLINE=ROSS DUNN DATELINE=JERUSSALEM CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Israel and the United States have developed a powerful laser designed to shoot down incoming rockets in mid-air. Ross Dunn in Jerusalem reports trials are now being conducted for laser technology to be used by Israel along its northern border to block rocket attacks by Lebanese guerrilla fighters. TEXT: Israel plans to deploy an advanced laser system along its northern border to block rocket attacks by Lebanese guerrillas, after an Israeli troop withdrawal from southern Lebanon. An Israeli defense ministry spokesman says the 250- million-dollar system -- known as the Tactical High Energy Laser -- is in the last phase of testing in Israel and the United States. The technology has been developed with U-S government support to meet the needs of residents in northern Israel. The residents have expressed fears they will continue to be targets of guerrilla groups in southern Lebanon, once Israeli troops withdraw from a self-declared security zone they established there in 1985. The laser would be used in particular against the militant Muslim group, Hezbollah, which frequently fires Katyusha rockets against communities along Israel's northern border. Under the system, the laser beams would derive their energy from powerful chemical reactions and destroy incoming missiles by heating them to high temperatures. Successful tests have been made against stationary targets and experiments are to be conducted against moving Katyusha rockets. The laser's exact power, range, and rate of firing remain classified. But U-S and Israeli defense officials say the laser could be fired fast enough to hit multiple incoming missiles. (Signed) NEB/RD/JWH/KBK 04-May-2000 13:35 PM EDT (04-May-2000 1735 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .