Defence layers are built while heat is increasing

When the war of words between Israel and the USA on one side and Iran on the other reaches a climax, it could become real war in minutes, so Israel is bolstering its capability to intercept ballistic missiles.

Iran’s airforce is not a threat to Israel. But Tehran embarked years ago on a big effort to develop some types of ballistic missile that could easily reach Israel.

I still remember the sound of a warhead attached to an Iraqi Scud missile that exploded not far from where I lived in the first Gulf War in 1990. If Iran is attacked now, a barrage of missiles with larger warheads is expected.

Israel is preparing itself. Soon a third Arrow missile battery will be deployed by the airforce in central Israel to increase the current capability of two operational batteries of Arrow-2 missiles.

The three batteries will be connected to one command centre, which will decide which battery, or which launcher, will achieve the best results after an incoming missile is detected by the Green Pine phased array radar.

I visited one of the batteries and while the activities are routine, it felt like a coiled spring was about to be released in a split second.

The third battery will include all the improvements introduced in recent years.

These are supposed to affect the detection, prioritisation and intercept odds.

Meanwhile, Israel Aerospace Industries is preparing the first fly-out test of the Arrow-3, a totally different interceptor that is designed for kinetic kills of ballistic missiles armed with unconventional warheads.

The Arrow-2 and Arrow-3 will be part of a system that is designed to defend Israel from rockets and missiles. The Rafael Iron Dome is already intercepting short-range rockets. There will also be the Rafael-Raytheon David Sling, which is designed to intercept longer-range rockets and cruise missiles.

But I can assume with great certainty that Israel will use, in addition to the interceptors, some “very advanced” suppression systems. These are designed to hamper the ability of the enemy to launch.

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