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How Israel’s Advanced Missile Defence Repelled Iran’s Air Raid

08:33 AM Apr 15, 2024 IST | appteam
how israel’s advanced missile defence repelled iran’s air raid
How Israel’s Advanced Missile Defence Repelled Iran’s Air Raid

Tel Aviv [Israel]: In its first ever direct attack on Israel to avenge the airstrike on its embassy in Syria, Iran unleashed more than 300 drones and missiles towards the enemy country, marking a further escalation in tensions in West Asia. However, the Iranian air raids into Israel on Saturday night failed to make much impact or inflict any harm, as they were repelled and destroyed by the country's advanced air defence systems.

Tehran's air assault on Israel included multiple waves of ballistic and cruise missiles, as well as explosive-laden drones, which were successfully intercepted by the air defence systems and limited the impact of the attack, US-based publication Politico reported.

In controlling the targeted attack, the resilience and efficiency of Israel's advanced multilayered air defences, which include the anti-ballistic Arrow system and the Iron Dome system, and the extraordinary close cooperation between Israel and its western allies, the United States, Britain and France, played a major role, the report noted.

Further, according to Politico, despite the Iranian army claiming its blitz "achieved all its objectives", the impact was minimal, as only minor damage was incurred at the Nevatim Air Base in the south of the country, while a 7-year-old Bedouin girl was injured by fragments from an intercepted missile.

Israel said 185 drones, 110 surface-to-surface missiles, and 36 cruise missiles were fired at the country in what Tehran dubbed 'Operation Honest Promise'. Most of the weapons were launched from Iran and a small proportion from Iraq and Yemen.

US President Joe Biden condemned the 'unprecedented' assault, saying an American aircraft and two US destroyers, one of which was moved to the region in the wake of the April 1 Israeli strike on the Iranian consulate, helped intercept the barrage from Tehran.
Britain and France also helped fend off the attack.

American warships shot down at least three ballistic missiles in the eastern Mediterranean, a US official told CNN. US forces also reportedly intercepted 70 attack drones.

Washington feared an attack was likely after Israel's targeting of the Iranian consulate in the Syrian capital and rushed warships into position last week, including redeploying the USS Eisenhower aircraft carrier and three other warships to the northern Red Sea and nearer to Israel, the report stated further.

Social media reports showed footage of Shahed drones flying exceptionally low across Iran in an effort to evade radar detection as they made their way into Israel. But the ploy didn't work as, according to Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, the spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), '99 percent' of the drones and missiles were intercepted.

Any other country in the world would have been incapable of coping with such an onslaught, Politico noted in its report, adding that Ukraine, armed with Patriot missiles of the US, has been unable to protect its energy infrastructure from much smaller Russian missile and drone attacks in recent weeks.

"Over the past 15 years, Israel appropriately upgraded its air defenses in preparation for such attacks as today, adding new systems for interceptions of ballistic missiles fired from as far away as 2,400 kilometers," R. Clarke Cooper, a former US assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs, was quoted as telling Politico, adding, "That interception range includes reaching Iran and where militant proxy groups allied with Iran--such as Yemen, Syria and Iraq--are based".

Israel's Arrow system sits at the top of the country's air-defence systems, with David's Sling, a mid-range anti-missile system, and Iron Dome the next in line and designed to intercept shorter-range missiles. David's Sling was successfully deployed for the first time in May 2023 during cross-border fighting with Gaza-based Hamas militants.

The director of the Israel Missile Defense Organisation, Moshe Patel, said the country's 'Star Wars' programme paid off Saturday night after nearly 40 years of investment in anti-missile defences, according to Politico.

"All of the defence systems proved themselves well," Patel told Politico, adding, "All of their actions were coordinated after significant preparation and development of the systems, simulations and integration with actual battle units."

The multi-layered defensive system has been financially underwritten by the US, which, since 2009 has provided USD 3.4 billion in funding for Israel's missile defences, the report noted.

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