The Israeli multi-layered defence system against rockets and missiles is about to become more versatile.
Some of the tiers are already in place but as the threats get more diverse, the Israeli air force (IAF) is about to deploy more systems that will operate in conjunction with aerial platforms.
Will this unique multi-layered defence system ease the burden of the IAF’s fighter squadrons? I doubt it. The aim will still be to destroy the threat as far as possible from the boundaries of Israel.
Rafael, which has developed the operational Iron Dome system that is already intercepting rockets launched from Gaza, is working on a new layer.
Rafael is now developing the David’s Sling, which is designed to intercept longer-range rockets.
The success of the currently deployed Iron Dome systems brought a decision to deploy it to defend critical installations from rockets.
Matan Vilnai, Israel’s minister of home front defence, said recently that an Iron Dome system will be deployed to defend the oil refineries in Haifa in northern Israel.
Haifa, Israel’s largest port, suffered rocket attacks during the Second Lebanon War.
In recent months the Iron Dome has succeeded in intercepting more than 90 % of the BM-21 Grad and Kassam rockets that have been launched from Gaza into Israel.
Iron Dome, developed by Rafael, is a mobile defence system aimed at intercepting short-range rockets and artillery shells.
The system was specially designed to avoid collateral damage by detonating the target warhead outside the defended area, preventing target debris from falling in that area.
The system’s main components include tracking radar, a battle management and weapons control unit, an interceptor with a special warhead that detonates threats from ranges up to 70km, and a missile firing unit.
So the multi-layered system will finally be built from the new very low tier defence system, from the Iron Dome, the David’s Sling and from the fully operational Arrow-2, which is a ballistic missile interceptor. The highest tier, the Arrow-3, is now under development.