The capture of long-range rockets on a ship intercepted last week by the Israeli navy in the Red Sea is a mere drop in the ocean compared with the massive transfers of rockets to Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, mainly courtesy of Iran. At the same time, Iran is galloping to the bomb after managing to cheat the West with what is dubbed the “smiles offensive”. And parallel to that, Iran is also stepping up the development of its long-range ballistic missiles.
In that situation, Israel does not have any alternative but to make its four-tiered air defence systems operational as soon as possible.
The Israel aerospace industries (IAI) Arrow 2 and 3 will be the upper tier of a system that is designed to defend Israel from rockets and missiles. The Rafael “Iron Dome” is already intercepting short-range rockets. One layer above will be the Rafael-Raytheon “David’s Sling” designed to intercept longer-range rockets and cruise missiles.
Until now, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) soldiers that operate the Iron Dome rocket interceptor systems and the Arrow 2 ballistic missiles interceptor have trained in the batteries themselves. By turning a switch, the battery goes from “operational” to “training” mode.
But the complexity of the systems and the need to keep them in operational status 24/7 have brought the IAF to acquire very advanced simulators for its multi-tiered air defence array.
Operational now are the simulators of the “Iron Dome” and “Patriot” missiles that are backing the multi-tiered system.
In the very near future another simulator will be added. This one will enable IAF soldiers to be trained to operate the centre that is in charge of creating the “ballistic scenario”. This centre is in charge of allocating interceptors to threats.
While the “Arrow 2″ simulator is also operational, the simulator that depicts the “David’s Sling” long-range rockets interceptor will become operational soon after its system, which is under development, is deployed.