Israel Launches New Missile and Drone Defense System

The new system will 'constitute a significant component in strengthening the protection' of Israel's borders, the Defense Ministry said in a statement

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The massive observation balloon that will be launched by the Israeli military contains advanced radar technology.
The massive observation balloon that will be launched by the Israeli military contains advanced radar technology.Credit: Defense Ministry spokesperson

Israel is set to launch a new balloon-mounted radar system with advanced missile and aircraft detection abilities into the northern sky, the Defense Ministry announced Wednesday.

The system, dubbed "Sky Dew," is designed to warn against drones and advanced munitions threatening Israeli territory. The defense establishment has spotted attempts in recent years by Iran to deploy drones with advanced capabilities in Lebanon and Syria, and in places farther afield, which were manufactured by Iran with the intent of attacking Israel.

Hezbollah and Hamas are also investing major resources to establish an advanced array of drones to deploy against Israel. There have been a number of foiled attempts by Iranian officials to carry out attacks from Syrian territory in recent years.

"Israel zeppelin carrying early warning radar to monitor incoming threats" today.Credit: Avi Scharf

The balloon's technology is based on an aerostat air platform developed by the American firm TCOM and is part of ongoing efforts to strengthen Israel's missile defense system. It will "constitute a significant component in strengthening the protection of the country's borders,” the ministry said in a statement. A similar unit is already deployed near Dimona in Israel’s south.

"Over the past year, we have proven, in a large number of successful experiments, the ability of the entire multilayered defense system to deal with advanced threats, including cruise missiles,” said Israel Missile Defense Organization's chief Moshe Patel.

“The elevated sensor system is an excellent example of cooperation between the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the Ministry of Defense and partner industries,” said US MDA chief Admiral John Hill, adding that it would also help maintain Israel’s technological edge in the region.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz congratulated the companies and agencies involved for developing what he called “another technological breakthrough that will strengthen the protection of Israel's skies and Israeli citizens.”

Israel has several systems for missile interception, including Iron Dome, David’s Sling (formerly known as Magic Wand) for mid-range targets and Arrow 3 for long-range ones.

This June, the defense establishment completed the first test of an airborne laser system, which successfully destroyed several drones, and last December the ministry stated that it had successfully carried out its first large-scale antimissile tests using exclusively seaborne launchers.

The system was developed by the Defense Ministry’s Israel Missile Defense Organization in conjunction with the Air Force, Israel Aerospace Industries and US Missile Defense Agency, and is intended to carry an early warning radar.

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