Home WORLD 5 Israeli state-of-the-art multilayered air-defense systems that protected it from Iran’s drone...

5 Israeli state-of-the-art multilayered air-defense systems that protected it from Iran’s drone and missile strikes

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An incoming attack by more than 300 Iranian drones and ballistic missiles was the latest challenge to Israel’s air defense system, which already has been working overtime to cope with incoming rocket, drone and missile attacks throughout the six-month war against Hamas.

Israel has a multilayered air-defense network that includes systems capable of intercepting a variety of threats including long-range missiles, cruise missiles, drones and short-range rockets. However, in a massive attack involving multiple drones and missiles, the likelihood of a strike making it through is higher.

Israel’s defense system with assistance from the U.S. and Britain is credited with preventing serious damage or casualties.

PTI

Israeli Iron Dome air defense system launches to intercept missiles fired from Iran, in central Israel. Iran launched its first direct military attack against Israel on Saturday. The Israeli military says Iran fired more than 100 bomb-carrying drones toward Israel. Hours later, Iran announced it had also launched much more destructive ballistic missiles. (AP/PTI)(

Here’s a closer look at Israel’s multilayered air-defense system:

The Arrow:

This system developed with the U.S. is designed to intercept long-range missiles, including the types of ballistic missiles Iran said it launched on Saturday. The Arrow, which operates outside the atmosphere, has been used in the current war to intercept long-range missiles launched by Houthi militants in Yemen.

David’s Sling:

Also developed with the U.S., the David’s Sling is meant to intercept medium-range missiles, such as those possessed by Hezbollah in Lebanon.

israel missile defenceReuters

Objects are seen in the sky above Jerusalem after Iran launched drones and missiles towards Israel, in Jerusalem April 14, 2024.

Patriot:

This American-made system is the oldest member of Israel’s missile-defense system – used during the First Gulf War in 1991 to intercept Scud missiles fired by Iraq’s leader at the time, Saddam Hussein. The Patriot is now used to shoot down aircraft, including drones.

Iron Dome:

This system, developed by Israel with U.S. backing, specializes in shooting down short-range rockets. It has intercepted thousands of rockets since it was activated early last decade – including thousands of interceptions during the current war against Hamas and Hezbollah. Israel says it has a success rate of over 90%.

Iron Beam:

Israel is developing a new system to intercept incoming threats with laser technology. Israel has said this system will be a game changer because it is much cheaper to operate than existing systems. However, it is not yet operational.

Iranian Response

A military spokesman said the launches by Iran numbered more than 300 but 99% of them were intercepted.

Calling the outcome “a very significant strategic success,” Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, Israel’s chief military spokesperson said Iran fired 170 drones, more than 30 cruise missiles and more than 120 ballistic missiles. Of those, several ballistic missiles reached Israeli territory, causing minor damage to an air base.

Rescuers said a 7-year-old girl in a Bedouin Arab town was seriously wounded in southern Israel, apparently in a missile strike, though they said police were still investigating the circumstances of her injuries.

History

The Iranian attack, less than two weeks after a suspected Israeli strike in Syria that killed two Iranian generals in an Iranian consular building, marked the first time Iran has launched a direct military assault on Israel, despite decades of enmity dating back to the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The Israeli airstrike on April 1 targeted high-ranking members of the Revolutionary Guard unit that oversees covert operations in the Mideast, the Quds Force. Among those killed was the top commander for the region, Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi.

The death of Zahedi was described as particularly stunning to Iranian leaders. Their outrage was not just over the blow to their military leadership, but also over the decision by the Israelis to strike the embassy complex.

Israel had been bracing for an Iranian response to the Damascus consulate strike since last week, when Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Israel “must be punished and shall be” for an operation he called equivalent to one on Iranian soil.

(With inputs from Reuters, NYT, AP)

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