Israel and the Precision-Guided Missile Threat

(BESA Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University) Uzi Rubin - Iran is currently converting all its older missiles into precision weapons, and is supplying its allies in the region with expertise and materials with which to build their own precision missile capabilities. Israel is anxious to frustrate Hizbullah's precision project because once it is achieved, Hizbullah's missiles will be able to paralyze any vital installation or terrorize any civilian population center in Israel. One of the biggest advantages of ground-launched missiles is their small footprint: their launchers are small, stealthy, and hard to find and destroy. Air power, by contrast, relies on huge air bases with long runways. The vulnerability of giant air bases to precision missile strikes was demonstrated during the January 2020 Iranian missile strike on the U.S.-operated Ein Assad air base in Iraq. Once Hizbullah is equipped with precision missiles, it could fire salvoes to paralyze Israel's air bases. Israel's defense systems will probably be able to destroy most incoming missiles, but not all of them. Israel should do everything in its power not only to prevent defeat by precision-guided missiles but to use them itself to defeat its enemies. The writer, founding director of the Israel Missile Defense Organization, which managed the Arrow program, is a senior research associate at the BESA Center.

2020-06-16 00:00:00

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