IAF takes possession of David's Sling air defense system.
(photo credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)
The Israel Air Force fired air defense missiles into the Israeli skies on Monday as part of a preplanned war drill simulating a missile attack.
An army spokeswoman described the drill as a “routine” check of “air defense systems.”
The IDF would not confirm from where the missiles were fired. Channel 10 reported that Patriot missiles were fired from the Palmahim airbase south of Rishon Lezion.
The IAF’s Air Defense Branch possesses a number of American-made Patriot surface-to-air missiles, and in recent years, it has said it carried out modifications “to enhance their effectiveness.”
The Patriot operates in conjunction with the Iron Dome, David’s Sling and Arrow-2 and Arrow-3 systems to counter the full range of rocket, missile, drone, and aircraft threats posed by hostile regional entities.
Monday’s air defense activities closely follow an exercise last month when the US and Israel tested six air defense systems
in a single computer-simulated rocket and missile defense drill.
During the Juniper Cobra 2016 exercise, which began in February, the US European Command (EUCOM) integrated the command and control systems of the Aegis Combat System, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense and Patriots, while Israel plugged in systems from its Arrow-3, David’s Sling and Iron Dome defenses.
Brig.-Gen. Zvika Haimovich, commander of the IAF’s Aerial Defense, said at the time: “We will be better prepared after this drill, in the face of a changing reality,” while the US commander of the exercise, Lt.-Gen.
Timothy M. Ray, said the combined ballistic mission exercise improved interoperability by exercising missile defenses.
The Defense Ministry and US Missile Defense Agency handed control of the David’s Sling air defense system over to the IAF on March 1.
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