IAF simulates integrated missile defense

Iron Dome anti-rocket system entering final development stage.

March 28, 2010 06:39
1 minute read.
IAF officers during the drill.

iaf drill. (photo credit: IDF)

The Israel Air Force Air Defense Division has held a series of laboratory tests and simulations to create an integrated operational doctrine for the various missile defense systems it is developing to protect the State of Israel.

Israel is currently in the final stages of developing the Iron Dome system to defend against short-range rockets like the Kassam and Katyusha rockets which form the backbone of Hamas and Hizbullah’s arsenal; together with the US, Israel is developing the David’s Sling, which will be capable of intercepting medium-range missiles. It is also currently developing the Arrow 3, an upgraded version of the Arrow missile that Israel currently operates.

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According to Lt.-Col. Avi Cohen of the IAF’s Air Defense Division, the drill will assist the IAF in improving the missile defense systems currently under development, and will help the Air Defense Division create an operational doctrine which will know which system to use against which threat.

“We checked a number of simulations from launches from different countries and different ranges,” said Cohen. “We checked which defense system we will use for which missile.

“Some systems can deal with a number of different threats, and we need to set up the doctrine for how we will use them.”

Named Tiramisu after the popular Italian layered cake, the exercise was conducted in a computer laboratory and did not include actual firing of missiles. The IAF also checked how the Israeli systems integrate with long-range American systems – such as the THAAD and the Aegis – which could be deployed here in the event of a large-scale conflict.

The IAF is planning a number of similar drills for the coming year, and is also considering establishing a single operations room for all of the systems once they are operational.

The Iron Dome is scheduled to be deployed along the Gaza border by the summer; David’s Sling will likely be declared operational by 2013, and the Arrow 3 by 2014.

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