The Israel Defense Forces last night completed a unique training exercise involving joint use of the Patriot and Iron Dome missile defense systems, "Walla" reports. Israel Air Force aerial defense personnel conducted interceptions of targets at various heights and distances. The drill was carried out at a base in central Israel and included a range of scenarios in order to test the capabilities of the Israel Air Force's air defense fighters and technicians and their missile systems. The IDF said that the trial was carried out as part of its annual training program.
A senior Israel Air Force officer said that during the unique training exercise several missiles were launched against a combination of drones and unmanned aerial vehicles. The officer said, "It was a very successful trial." Military delegations from the US and Greece attended and observed the trial and were able to draw conclusions from its results. The delegations will also take part in a panel discussion to talk about professional plans and cooperation between the armies. The senior officer remarked, "The discussion will deal with our latest combat doctrines and integrated interception."
The IDF's air protection division is responsible for defending Israel's airspace using both ground forces and aircraft. These include the last line of defense against some aerial threats and the first line of defense against other threats including ground-to-ground missiles, ballistic missiles and rockets.
The senior officer said that the unique exercise was based on conclusions drawn from previous drills last year. It can be assumed that recent events such as the firing of rockets from Gaza to the Sharon region north of Tel Aviv were scenarios included in this drill. The officer said, "We are talking about an exceptional exercise in world terms because of the scale of it during just one night. The scenarios were surprising in challenging weather conditions staged towards both the north and the south."
The officer said that the upgrades had been carried out on the Patriot missiles in recent years in terms of the interceptor, software and detection capabilities. Although it is a relatively old missile, it has successfully intercepted a Sukhoi 27 aircraft and UAVs in recent years.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on April 17, 2019
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