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Israel to Boost Air Defenses to Counter Enemy Drones

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is looking to enhance the country’s air defense systems to better defend its territories against Iranian-developed drones, according to a Times of Israel report.

The IDF reportedly seeks to have full defensive coverage over the airspace of northern Israel by deploying additional radar to augment the nation’s Iron Dome mobile all-weather air defense system.

Israel has also begun improving its short-range missile defense systems to identify and shoot down intruding drones. Similar capabilities will be integrated into the medium-range David’s Sling air defense system.

The Israeli government has already allocated funding for the enhancement project. Roughly 250 million Israeli shekels ($78 million) of the total budget came from a deal brokered in 2019 between the defense, finance, and energy ministries.

‘Countering Iranian Drone Attacks’

According to the Israeli-based media firm, drones are more difficult to detect than larger manned aircraft because they fly with less predictable flight patterns at lower altitudes.

Israel recognizes the severity of the threat posed by such weapons, citing, for example, the devastating 2019 attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facility using drones and cruise missiles.

“It was a sophisticated attack that managed to evade both US and Saudi defenses. Anyone who says that it can’t happen to us isn’t a professional,” Israel’s head of military intelligence, Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva said in 2019.

Meanwhile, Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz claims that Iranian drones have been a powerful tool in assisting soldiers on missions. He stated that the Iranian craft can travel thousands of kilometers to Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon.

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