Unprecedented Defense Success in Israel Intercepting Iranian Drones and Missiles

By Yoni Weiss

Anti-missile system fires interception missiles as drones and missiles fired from Iran, as seen over Yerushalayim, early Sunday. (Jamal Awad/Flash90)

In a historic display of defensive capabilities, none of the 185 Shahed 238 drones launched by Iran against Israel reached their target, nor did any of the 36 cruise missiles. Of the 110 Kheibar Shekan ballistic missiles fired, only a few reached Israel, and even fewer detonated. The U.S. and British forces, alongside Jordan and potentially French involvement, primarily carried out interceptions over Iraq and Syria, effectively neutralizing the threat before it could reach Israeli soil.

The Israeli Air Force played a crucial role outside the country’s borders, intercepting the remaining drones and demonstrating significant prowess in handling the sophisticated swarm of armed UAVs, including the faster and more explosive Shahed 238 model. These kamikaze drones, improvements on the Shahed 136 used by Russia in Ukraine, are challenging to detect and intercept due to their small, slow-flying nature.

Israeli F-35 Adir aircraft, equipped with specialized drone-detecting gear, and limited-capacity stealth missiles were possibly supplemented by artillery to counter the UAVs. The interception of ballistic missiles also marked a critical success, with all being destroyed outside Israel’s borders. The Arrow 2 and Arrow 3 air defense systems were instrumental, and for the first time, the David’s Sling system intercepted a missile.

This operation sets a new benchmark in aerial defense, contrasting sharply with past incidents, such as the 2019 Iranian attack on Saudi oil facilities, which saw no interceptions despite multiple drone and missile launches.

To Read The Full Story

Are you already a subscriber?
Click to log in!