Arevolution in IAF air defense concept. Starting this summer Israel’s air defense command will begin operating in “wing” formations instead of “artillery groups”. The force’s operational structure will be like that of aircraft. The entire air defense layout will operate according to tasks assigned to units rather than according to geographic deployment.
The new defense concept was recently approved by the commander of the air force. The defense of Israel’s skies will “integratively” combine the forces designated to intercept enemy aircraft and the batteries designated to intercept missiles launched from any range. The entire multilayered active defense layout will be run by one interception-management center.
The new deployment will have one wing responsible for defense of the skies, based on anti-aircraft missile systems: Patriots, Hawks, and Stingers.
Another wing, tasked with active defense and alert detection, will operate the “Arrow” (“Hetz”), “David’s Sling” (“Sharvit Ksamim”), and “Iron Dome” (“Kipat Barzel”) air defense systems.
The “Arrow” system - designed to intercept long-range missiles - has been considered operational for over a decade; “Iron Dome” – designed to intercept short-range rockets, such as Hezbollah’s “Katyushas” in Lebanon and Hamas’s Kassams in the Gaza Strip – is now entering operational service; “David’s Sling” will be based on a missile jointly produced by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. and the American Raytheon Company.
This missile is planned to intercept rockets, such as the “Fajr”, “M-600” (a Syrian copy of the Iranian Fateh-110, with a range of 300 kilometers and half-ton warhead), and cruise missiles. The entire layout will be part of the new deployment of Israel’s air defense beginning in 2013.