On Wednesday, Israel intercepted a rocket from Gaza over central Israel using its David’s Sling missile defense system for the first time.
Islamic Jihad’s rocket arsenal is far less impressive than the missiles available to Hamas and Hezbollah. This is reflected in the fact that, on Thursday afternoon, of the 594 rockets fired at Israel, only 394 crossed the border and 124 fell in Gaza. In other words, 22% of the rockets launched by Islamic Jihad during Operation Shield and Arrow failed to reach Israel. Of those 391 rockets that reached Israel, 175 that were going to land on populated areas were intercepted by Iron Dome, which had a 95% success rate in the ongoing operation.
Iron Dome, which is the short range line of defense in Israel’s layered missile defense, is manufactured by Rafael Advance Defense Systems and was first operated during Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012, and by Operation Protective Edge, he had a 90% success rate in intercepting rockets. Iron Dome includes a search and guidance radar, command and control functions, and the Tamir interceptor missile, which costs $50,000 each.
The next layer of Israel’s air missile defense is David’s Sling system, designed to intercept short to medium range threats including ballistic missiles, sea-launched missiles, aircraft missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles. pilot. David’s Sling was developed by Israel’s HOMA administration within the Defense Ministry’s Arms and Technology Infrastructure Development Administration (MAFAT) and the United States Missile Defense Agency (MDA), led by Rafael and Raytheon.
David’s Sling includes a multi-mission radar (MMR), which was developed by the ELTA unit of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). The Golden Almond command and control system was developed by Elbit Systems Elisra Division. The United States was a partner in both the development and financing of the project and can interface with American defense systems.
“Jihad and Iran have understood that there is a new player in the game”
“The great thing about David’s Sling and Iron Dome and the Arrow (Israel’s long-range missile defense system) is that they know how to distinguish Yehoshua Kalisky, senior researcher at the Defense Research Institute National Institute of Tel Aviv University and a former senior Defense Department official told “Globes. He said that unlike Iron Dome, which explodes near the target, David’s Sling hits the missile directly. “It knows how to maneuver using a radar that locates targets and an electro-optical sensor that hits the relevant target. target,” he explained. “The great thing about David’s Sling is his ability to maneuver. It travels at hypersonic speed, above Mach 7, so no Islamic Jihad or Hamas missile has the capability to deal with it.”
The first operational use of David’s Sling during the successful Operation Shield and Arrow is encouraging, but it is important to remember that the power of relevant launches by Islamic Jihad is not comparable to the power that we will see in the Hamas systems. In addition, each intercept by the system is much more expensive than Iron Dome, since the cost of each interceptor missile is approximately $1 million.
“Islamic Jihad is not capable of pushing Israel to its limits,” Kalisky added. According to him, the purpose of the current escalation is an Iranian desire to test how Israel will defend itself against rockets.
“The success of David’s Sling was a blow to them, and it’s a fact that after the interception they started talking about a ceasefire,” he said. “They were shocked and realized that there was a new actor on the ground. It is true that Islamic Jihad has less capacity than Hamas, but from experience, we know that time is on their side. After all, Hamas started with Kassams that Shimon Peres called “flying tubes”, and today they can reach Netanya.”
IAI cooperates with the United States
The next, highest layer is the Arrow 2, which is designed to intercept medium and long range missiles, and is developed and produced by IAI. It consists of three main systems: Gold Etrog Zahav, the command and control center considered one of the most advanced in the world, and which is produced by; the Green Pine and Super Green Pine radar systems which are used to track and identify ballistic missiles, and are developed and manufactured by IAI’s ELTA. Previous estimates put the cost of each Arrow 2 and Arrow 3 interceptor missile at around $3 million.
Arrow 3, unlike Arrow 2, is intended only to intercept outer long-range missiles and was delivered to the Israeli Air Force in January 2017. The main contractor for the development of the system is the MLM division of IAI, in collaboration with ELTA, which is responsible for the radar detection system. At the same time, Elisra is developing the system responsible for managing the firing, and the American company Boeing is a partner of IAI in development and production. The rocket motor that lifts the Arrow missile into space is developed and manufactured by the government company Tomer, and there are also components developed by Rafael and IAI’s MLM.
Due to technological advances by Israel’s enemies, Israel and the United States have been developing the Arrow 4 since 2021, which will be even more expensive.
Iron Beam will surround Israel with a laser wall
In March 2022, then Defense Secretary Benny Gantz decided to advance the development and production of the Iron Beam laser system for intercepting rockets, the first of its kind in the world, which is designed to meet the rocket attacks and unmanned aircraft within a range of up to 10 kilometers. The following month, the Ministry of Defense, together with Rafael, carried out a series of tests on the system, which successfully intercepted unmanned aerial vehicles, mortar shells, rockets and anti-tank missiles. Lockheed Martin invests $1 billion in the Iron Beam system.
According to former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, the Iron Beam was to be operational in 2023 and in the medium to long term, it will be able to “surround Israel with a laser wall that will protect us from missiles, rockets, drones and other threats”. , and in fact it will take away the strongest card the enemy has against us.” Getting the system operational will be tremendous economic news and will save Israel many millions of shekels from the repeated use of the Iron missiles Dome to neutralize the many rockets fired at Israel.
Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – May 11, 2023.
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