Operation room during test
Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit
Iron Dome interceptor drill
Photo: AFP
Anti Shahab missile test
Photo: AFP
Israel tests multilevel missile defense system
IAF officer says knowledge of interaction between different missile systems will help intercept threats

The security establishment conducted a first-of-its-kind trial run, meant to test the joint operation of several anti missile and rocket defense systems. The aim of the test was to gauge the systems' performance during a missile attack on Israel.


Israeli Air Defense Network Commander Brigadier-General Doron Gavish said it was the first test of its kind conducted in the world.


The experiment evaluated the command and control units of each system in order to engineer the ultimate "recipe" for optimal performance when the need arises. "It is a significant test that will give us the knowledge and tools to intercept different threats," said the head of the Air Force's defense branch, Lieutenant-Colonel Avi Cohen.


The trial was another step forward for the security establishment and its goal of launching a graded anti-ballistic defense system. The tiered apparatus will include several interceptor systems, including Iron Dome against Qassam rockets, Magic Wand system, which intercepts midrange missiles, and the Patriot and Arrow-3, meant to block Shahab missiles from Iran.


While a few of the systems are still under development in the defense industries, the IAF is already making predictions on how the final product will operate.


Lt.-Colonel Cohen described the testing procedure: "After feeding all the data of the different systems into the computer, we ran different scenarios of missile attacks and examined the correct response – what happens when one system is not sufficient and how the alternate system backs it up, and how they all work together."


According to Cohen, simulations of different scenarios were examined, including rocket fire from the Gaza Strip and missile attacks from what the IAF defines as "other countries." Cohen noted that analyzing the results will improve the understanding of the different systems even before they are fully developed, and will shorten the timeframe in which the IAF can properly operate them.


"Eventually we will need to examine critical points such as whether to control these systems from one or more operations rooms, what are the systems' operating ranges, and the synergy between them," he said.


The test virtually combined US defense systems as well, in the event that Israel is faced with more than one front. Similar lab tests will be conducted in the near future, with cooperation between the IDF and the defense industries that are developing the different systems


First published: 03.27.10, 21:39
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