Israel’s Iron Dome risks failing in war with Hezbollah

24.06.2024, Tel Aviv.

Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system risks being defeated in first strikes in any significant escalation of the conflict with Hezbollah, The Observer wrote on June 23.

The assessment, made by US officials last week and echoing recent analysis by experts in Israel and the United States, came amid concerns that war with Hezbollah could prove a far more dangerous enterprise than the devastating second Lebanon war in 2006, when Israeli bombing caused massive destruction in Lebanon.

While most of Hezbollah’s arsenal consists of tens of thousands of unguided missiles – both short- and long-range – it has acquired hundreds of guided ballistic missiles since 2006, with the ability to launch them from fortified bunkers and mobile launchers.

Compounding the problem is Hezbollah’s increasing and effective use of unmanned aerial vehicles, including kamikaze weapons, which Israel’s existing air defenses have difficulty dealing with.

The Institute for Counterterrorism at Reichman University in Israel has estimated that Hezbollah could fire up to 3,000 rockets a day, a rate that could be sustained for three weeks. Its key objective would be to provoke the collapse of Israel’s air defense system.

The most serious problem, experts say, is likely to be the sheer number of approaching rockets fired in waves deliberately designed to overwhelm Israeli air defenses.

Israel has about 10 Iron Dome batteries, each with about four separate launchers, and each battery is connected to a radar system that detects approaching missiles. However, like all systems, it is physically limited in the number of targets it can hit at once, the publication notes.

Hezbollah’s modernized missile capability has generated warnings about the threat it poses to Israel’s civilian resilience, but not everyone is convinced that Israel’s military and political leadership is fully aware of the risks.

Speaking at a conference last week, Shaul Goldstein, head of Noga –  Israel Independent System Operator, warned, “We are not in a good state and unprepared for a real war.” He added that “after 72 hours without electricity in Israel, living here will be impossible.”

Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency