How Israel and Saudi Arabia Plan to Down Iranian Drones Together

(Ha'aretz) Anshel Pfeffer - The regional defense alliance that Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz has been talking about has actually been in existence for a while now. The U.S Central Command (CENTCOM) has been coordinating the response to air-defense threats for U.S. allies in the region over the past year, as Israel became part of CENTCOM's region in early 2021. At this stage, the joint operation relies on existing sensors and interception systems already in use by countries in the region, as well as those deployed by the U.S. These include the X-band radar in the Negev Desert and ship-borne Aegis combat systems in the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. Working through CENTCOM makes it possible to "fuse" the variety of electronic information gleaned by the various sensors, creating a real-time picture of airborne threats in the region and intercepting them. The urgency in creating such a framework grew out of the successful Iranian drone and cruise missile attacks in recent years on oil installations, cities and military bases in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The efficacy of the new framework was evident in February, when explosive-laden Iranian drones on their way to targets in Israel were intercepted by American fighter jets in Iraqi airspace. A year earlier, in March 2021, Israeli F-35s shot down Iranian drones over other countries in the region.

2022-07-14 00:00:00

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