Analysis | Why is the IDF Struggling to Block Hezbollah's Precision Weapons?

As the IDF and Hezbollah exchange blows on the Lebanese border, this critical question arises

Analysis | Why is the IDF Struggling to Block Hezbollah's Precision Weapons?

Illustration photo: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit

Over the past nine months, tension on the Lebanese border has reached a new peak. The IDF and Hezbollah are exchanging blows with precision weapons, highlighting the critical need to protect vital infrastructure in Israel. Despite ongoing efforts, the IDF is encountering difficulties in effectively blocking these threats.

Precision weapons rely on specific GPS frequencies, with the main challenge for the IDF appearing to be the jamming of frequency ranges commonly used in American munitions. These frequencies were originally intended for military use but are now also used for civilian applications. Their advantage lies in their ability to better penetrate obstacles such as clouds and buildings.

Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) bombs exemplify the blocking challenges. An expert interviewed by the RUSI website, in the context of Ukraine, explains: "The US has made efforts to reduce the jamming risk of JDAM, but despite this, the immense power of a strong jamming signal can still impair their effectiveness."

The challenge intensifies when considering that some of the munitions used by the Air Force are based on American technology. This means that attempts to block Hezbollah's munitions could affect the precision of the IDF's own weapons.

The situation on the ground raises many questions about the effectiveness of the IDF's electronic warfare against Iranian munitions in the hands of Hezbollah. Hezbollah's drones repeatedly achieve their objectives, highlighting the ongoing challenge.

The key questions are whether the IDF will be able to develop more effective jamming technologies, how the technological battle will impact military strategy on the northern border, and the long-term implications of this technological gap on Israel's security.

While the answers to these questions remain unclear, it is evident that the technological challenge on the northern front will continue to be a central issue for the Israeli defense establishment in the foreseeable future.

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