AmericasArmsMiddle East

Israel Decommissions US-Made Patriot Air Defense System

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is decommissioning its US-supplied Patriot air defense system after more than 30 years of protecting the nation.

Acquired in 1990, the Raytheon-manufactured system played crucial roles in neutralizing aerial threats during the 1991 Gulf War and the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

But according to an IDF official, the Patriot system is becoming “obsolete,” making it difficult to maintain.

The decommissioning will start with a few batteries for smoother transition until the entire system is deactivated by June.

“The Patriot is being replaced by weapon systems with even more advanced technology,” the official said. “We realized that we need to move forward and improve our defense methods.”

Poor Results

Known in Israel as Yahalom (diamond), the Patriot intercepted Scud missiles fired at the country from Iraq during the 1991 Gulf War.

The system was operated by the US at the time.

After the Patriot was officially transferred to Jerusalem that same year, it reportedly yielded poor results as it failed to shoot down numerous targets.

Its first official kill for the IDF only happened in 2014 against a drone launched from Gaza.

From 2014 until today, the system has only intercepted 19 targets, nine of which were in the current war, according to the Israeli military.

“The system has operated powerfully and will continue until the last moment. It may not sound like much, but these are non-routine goals of intercepting powerful and large aircraft,” the official added.

Homegrown Systems

The IDF will replace the US-made Patriots with domestically-made air defense systems tailored to face modern threats.

The country’s multi-layered air defense system is the short-range Iron Dome, which has intercepted hundreds of aerial targets.

An Iron Dome launcher fires a Tamir missile to protect the citizens and infrastructure of Israel. Raytheon Missiles & Defense and RAFAEL have signed a joint venture to establish an Iron Dome Weapon System production facility in the United States. (Photo: RAFAEL)
An Iron Dome launcher fires a Tamir missile to protect the citizens and infrastructure of Israel. Photo: Raytheon/Rafael

Israel will also deploy its David’s Sling and Arrow defense system for medium- and long-range threats, such as drones and ballistic missiles.

Military personnel who operated the Patriot will now undergo training to support the deployment of the homegrown systems.

Related Articles

Back to top button