Advanced air defense systems protect Israel from drones, missiles

As Iran launched a large wave of attack drones and missiles toward Israel on Saturday, the Israeli military was tracking and preparing to intercept the weapons in the first-ever direct attack on Israel by the Islamic Republic, the Times of Israel reported.

Earlier Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel had for weeks “been preparing for the possibility of a direct attack from Iran.”

Netanyahu said Israel’s “air defenses are deployed, we are ready for any scenario, both in attack and in defense.” 

Israel’s missile defense system includes a complex range of weapons to protect and defend its country. 

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Advanced air defense systems help protect Israel from aerial weapons. (Cyberguy.com)

“Israel has a multilayered air defense system consisting of the Iron Dome, David’s Sling and the Arrow as well as other undisclosed assets. It will likely also get ballistic missile support defense from the United States, as the two militaries have been training on for years,” said Mark Dubowitz, CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. 

With an annual military budget exceeding $20 billion and access to some of the most advanced U.S. military hardware, Israel controls the skies and much of the sea around its territory, and it has superior cyber capabilities.

The Arrow Missile Defense System is made up of Arrow 2 and Arrow 3, which can intercept missiles fired from up to nearly 1,500 miles away and above the earth’s atmosphere. 

Another weapon it uses is “David’s Sling.” It is designed to intercept enemy planes, drones, tactical ballistic missiles, medium to long-range rockets and cruise missiles, fired at ranges from 25 to 190 miles. 

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ISrael

Streaks of light are seen as Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system intercepts rockets fired from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory, April 7, 2023.

The Iron Dome is designed to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells fired from distances of two to 43 miles away and whose trajectory would take them to an Israeli populated area.

The system was first used in combat in 2011. It knocked out a missile fired from the Gaza Strip, which has been under Hamas control since 2007.

Israel’s military has claimed a success rate of up to 90% for the Iron Dome.

The Patriot Missile System is primarily used by the U.S. Army and the U.S. has also sent it to several allies, including Ukraine, Poland and Israel. The Patriot system is designed to intercept aircraft and cruise missiles at ranges of up to 94 miles and altitudes of up to 19 miles. 

Over the past several years, the U.S. and Israeli missile defense cooperation has evolved to include the co-development of several systems designed to thwart a diverse range of threats, from short-range missiles and rockets fired by non-state actors, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, to mid- and long-range ballistic missiles in Syria’s and Iran’s arsenals, according to the Jewish virtual library. 

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The Israel Missile Defense Organization states that they continue to improve each of its systems, adapting and advancing its capabilities to a wide range of threats.

Fox News’ Bradford Betz and Greg Norman contributed to this report. 

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