Israel Air Force carries out test on its Patriot system

Israel’s aerial defense system provides a comprehensive protective umbrella to counter growing missile threats — from short-range rockets to longer-range ballistic missiles.

August 16, 2017 20:00
1 minute read.
Yom Kippur War

An old IDF tank barrel from the Yom Kippur War looks out over the Syrian side of the Golan from a hilltop a few hundred meters from the border. (photo credit: SETH J. FRANTZMAN)


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The IAF conducted a test of its Patriot missile-defense systems on Tuesday, firing multiple interceptor missiles toward aerial targets over the center of the country.

The drill focused mainly on the threats posed by unmanned aerial vehicles. UAV threats are not new – Hamas tried to send drones to Tel Aviv during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, and Hezbollah used Iranian-made Ababil drones during the Second Lebanon War in 2006.

Israel Air Force carries out test on its Patriot system. (Courtesy IDF) Taking with The Jerusalem Post recently, Commander of the Aerial Defense Division Brig.-Gen. Tzvika Haimovitch said UAVs are a big challenge due to their size, speed and low-flying altitude. Nevertheless, the IAF’s aerial defense systems “are flexible enough” to counter any threat.

Haimovitch said that while the protective umbrella provided by his division’s systems have a statistically high success rate, “there is no hermetic solution.”

The aerial defense system provides a comprehensive protective umbrella able to counter the growing missile threats from short-range rockets to longer-range ballistic missiles.

Iron Dome is designed to shoot down short-range rockets, the Arrow (Arrow-2 and Arrow-3) system intercepts ballistic missiles outside of the Earth’s atmosphere, and the newly operational David’s Sling missile defense system is designed to intercept tactical ballistic missiles, medium- to long-range rockets, as well as cruise missiles fired at ranges between 40 km. and 300 km.

The Arrow has been in use here since the 1990s, and in January the Israel Air Force officially took delivery of the first Arrow-3 interceptor, the most advanced Arrow, which is designed to provide ultimate air defense by intercepting ballistic missiles when they are still outside the Earth’s atmosphere.

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