IAF says more stopping power needed against Hezbollah

Posted: May 7, 2010 by Jonathan Boyko in Hezbollah, IDF, Israel, Lebanon, Middle East, Terrorism

If Nasrallah uses his arsenal, the Lebanese would become intimately familiar with more of those. At current rate, Israel would fully defend itself against current Hezbollah rocket threat by 2014, said Brigadier General Doron Gavish during an international conference on missile and rocket defense. Gavish told representatives of military industries, European militaries and members of US Congress, that Israel currently does not possess the ability to fully stop Hezbollah’s rocket assaults at Israel in case of war:

However, the information he presented left no room for doubt about Israel’s concerns over the tens of thousands of rockets and advanced missiles being acquired by Syria, Iran and Hezbollah. In a future war, these weapons could be aimed simultaneously at Israel.

"This constitutes a real challenge for us," Gavish said. "The configuration of threats we will have to deal with is large, complex and varied, and the response times we will have at our disposal will be very short. In the case of missiles, we will have to make decisions in minutes, and in the case of rockets – it’s a matter of hours. In terms of war, this [gives us] no time, but we will know how to act wisely in choosing targets we will have to intercept."

Gavish said Israel aspired to a multi-layer defense against missiles, focusing on a common language between the intercept systems. Israel has greatly improved its early-warning systems since the first Gulf War, and quality intelligence has also been developed to enable strikes at launch sites, Gavish said.

He added that the Iron Dome, which in recent tests had successfully intercepted a barrage of more than 10 rockets fired simultaneously, would be ready for operational deployment this summer.

(Haaretz)

ISRAELI SECURITY OFFICIALS do present a somewhat optimistic picture: according to them the Arrow anti-ballistic missile system has the ability to intercept Hezbollah’s newest acquisitions, including the Scuds and the M600’s. The Iron Dome, still in the test phase, could yet be deployed North, in case of war, and thus be war-tested – the best test there is.

The IDF, though, believes it would not be able to protect Israeli population to full extent, as it believes Hezbollah saw the upside of their rocket strategy during Second Lebanon War and now aims to upgrade it for the next round. While IAF forces were, in fact, successful at stopping all but two launches of middle-range rockets at Israel, the threat goes stronger with numbers, as it is believed Nasrallah now possesses many times more sophisticated ground-to-ground missiles.

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