Implications for the U.S. of Israel's Recent Missile Defense Test

(Foundation for Defense of Democracies) Brig.-Gen. (res.) Jacob Nagel and Jonathan Schanzer - The Israel Missile Defense Organization and U.S. Missile Defense Agency this month completed a series of tests of Israel's multilayered missile defense system. The tests simulated a variety of advanced threats, including low-altitude cruise missiles, long-range ballistic missiles, and unmanned aerial vehicles. It was the first time Israel deployed the David's Sling, Iron Dome and Arrow systems simultaneously. The Israeli navy will soon equip its Sa'ar 6-class corvettes with Iron Dome to protect natural gas rigs against cruise missiles. Israel tested its tactical laser system - still in development - as an alternative to Iron Dome interceptors for lower-tier threats. The tests also demonstrated for the first time Israel's ability to intercept a salvo of precision-guided munitions which Iran's proxy, Hizbullah, has been stockpiling. Iran and its regional proxies have repeatedly attacked U.S. personnel and partners in the Persian Gulf. On Jan. 8, Iran launched short-range missiles at two Iraqi bases hosting U.S. troops. Unfortunately, the current American Patriot systems are at best only a partial solution to such threats. After Israel's recent missile defense tests, Washington has little choice but to look closer at Israel's proven air defense systems. Israel's Skyceptor interceptor, developed for David's Sling, can be fired from Patriot batteries and can intercept low-altitude, maneuverable cruise missiles and drones. Brig.-Gen. (res.) Jacob Nagel, former deputy director of the Israel Ministry of Defense's Directorate of Defense R&D, is a senior fellow at FDD, where Jonathan Schanzer is senior vice president for research.

2020-12-31 00:00:00

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