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August 31, 2014 / 5 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘defense’

The Very Impressive Iron Dome

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

Though the international community has been consistent in calling for Israel to stop defending itself from Gazan missile attacks by destroying missile launching sites and parties, Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense systems have gained respect and admiration worldwide, dependably annihilating rockets on their way to targets in Israeli residential areas.

The Associated Press wrote a report touting the success of Iron Dome, and explaining its specs and uses.

In the report, the AP noted that the Israeli-based Rafael Advanced Defense Systems produced Iron Dome, which was intended to shoot down missiles and artillery in an up to 45 mile range.  So far, the five Iron Dome batteries deployed in Israel’s south and outside Tel Aviv have succeeded 8 out of every 10 uses.

The state-of-the-art Iron Dome system calculates the trajectory of each missile, allowing those which are headed toward unpopulated areas to land, and immediately intercepting those which are headed toward populated or important areas using a special warhead.

If there is any downside to Iron Dome, it is the price tag.  Each missile costs $40,000. In 2010, the US put $200 million into expanding the development – a greater budget is being anticipated for 2012.

The Iron Dome system operates under the same principal as the “Arrow” missile defense system, which is meant to protect against long-range missiles from Iran, and is the predecessor of the upcoming “David’s Sling” anti-missile system, being developed by Rafael to neutralize medium-range missiles by 2014.

New Head of Hamas Military Wing Takes Jabari’s Place

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Marwan Issa has been named the new commander of Hamas’s military wing. Issa was the deputy of Ahmed Jabari who was killed yesterday in an Israeli air strike and buried after public mourning rituals in Gaza.

Issa headed  the Hamas military delegation that traveled to Tehran and Beirut last September and signed secret mutual defense pacts with Iran and Hizbollah.

Iran Holds Massive Air Defense Drill

Monday, November 12th, 2012

As rocket barrages assault southern Israel, Iran launched its own air operations Monday, in the form of massive air defense drills.

Velayat-4 maneuvers will span 850,000 square kilometers – about half of the entire country – this week, and will include 8,000 troops from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard and other military arms, F-4, F-5, F-7, F-14 fighter planes, bombers, refueling planes, drones, and missile and artillery systems, according to Iranian media on Monday.

Last week, tensions flared between the US and Iran when Iranian warplanes fired at an unarmed US drone over international waters on November 1. Iran said the craft violated its airspace.

Though the drills seem ominously tied to the incident and to Israel’s current security situation, the drills appear to have been in the works since September.

Iran also held “Great Prophet 7” missile exercises in July, and announced in August that it had tested short-range missiles under a new guidance system capable of reaching land and sea targets.

Egypt Conducts Surprise Air Defense Exercise after IAF Disrupted Its Radar En Route To Sudan

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

During the early morning hours on Monday, residents of Cairo, Alexandria, Damietta and other areas reported in panic that they were hearing explosions and planes flying at low latitude over heavily populated areas, reports Yoni Alper’s Terror Watch. It turned out to be a surprise exercise carried out by the Egyptian Air Force, to test the aerial defense system in various regions, in the wake of the alleged Israeli attack on the Yarmouk factory complex, which produced weapons for the Sudanese army and Iranian rebel guards, in the Khartoum area.

The alleged Israeli attack on the factory apparently caused damage to containers of advanced weapons systems to be smuggled to Iranian terror organizations in Gaza or other Iranian-backed groups. On their alleged bombing mission, the Israeli planes, using advanced electronic devices, succeeded in avoiding detection by the Egyptian radar system while flying over the Red Sea.

On Monday, the Egyptian army put out an announcement saying it was conducting a surprise exercise where, among other things, planes broke the sound barrier, to test the efficiency of the aerial defense forces in light of current developments and threats to the area.

Although the Egyptian army referred to it as an exercise, Egyptian sources on social media networks denied this and claimed that Israeli Air Force planes infiltrated Egyptian air space. They claimed that Israel deployed stealth F-35 fighter aircraft. They further claimed that conducting a large scale exercise during the holiday period (Feast of the Sacrifice) was unusual and that the army’s announcement sounded very strange.

The Egyptian army denied reports on the matter and referred to them as lies. An army spokesman further explained that according to an agreement with the United States, the IDF would not make use of the F-35 aircraft before 2016.

Incidentally, there already have been claims regarding Israel’s utilizing Egyptian air space for attacks on the Gaza strip during the IDF’s Operation Cast Lead in late 2008 and early 2009, under former President Hosni Mubarak.

The Lockheed Martin F-35 is a single-seat, single-engine, multi-role fighter that can perform ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defense missions with some stealth capability.

Egypt’s Sinai Problem and Ours

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

A striking photo essay [here] from EgyptSource focuses on the stark realities of Sinai and the multiple challenges it poses to the Egyptians. EgyptSource, a project of the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, 

follows Egypt’s transition and provides a platform for Egyptian perspectives on the major issues – economic, political, legal, religious and human rights – that are at stake in the post-Mubarak era…

Needless to say, given its physical proximity to Israel, Sinai is not only an Egyptian challenge. That it gets such a small degree of media attention is a puzzle.

The essay that accompanies the images, by Mosaab Elshamy and published yesterday, starts this way:

Army checkpoints on the road to Sinai are almost an indication of a region at war. The vast peninsula bordering Egypt with Gaza and Israel rose to the forefront of the new Egyptian government’s troubles after an army checkpoint was attacked by unknown militants last Ramadan, killing 16 soldiers. This was not the first attack of its kind in Sinai – the region has been a hotbed of militants long before the revolution, but even more so after the fall of Mubarak. This was, however, the deadliest attack seen in Sinai, and the first under President Morsi’s rule. Backed by public anger, the military launched Operation Eagle to hunt down those behind the attack. Different claims have been made regarding the outcome, but what is evident from my visit to the region is that little has changed.

All that Sinai has become notorious for – smuggling of weapons, torturing Africans and rise of militancy – remains unchanged. The army had also declared its intention to close down the tunnels connecting Sinai to the besieged Gaza strip, but in Rafah economic activity is booming with trucks full of goods coming in and out of the town almost every hour of the day.

The same lack of security along with rise of Islamist extremists led to yet another sectarian attack on the Coptic minority in Rafah, causing many to flee for their lives, almost 2 years after their church was burnt by armed militants. [More]

Sunday produced two disturbing illustrations of today’s Sinai realities – again, almost no media coverage.

Gunmen attack buildings in Sinai’s Dahab Maan News | Published yesterday (updated) 29/10/2012 21:34

EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — Gunmen attacked government buildings on Sunday in the Egyptian city of Dahab in the Sinai peninsula, security officials said. Bedouin gunmen attacked a checkpoint at the entrance to the popular Sinai tourist destination and also attacked local government headquarters and a hospital, Egyptian security officials told Ma’an. Disorder has spread in Sinai since former President Hosni Mubarak was ousted in a popular uprising last year, with Islamist militants stepping up attacks on security forces and the Israeli border. Egypt’s president, Muhammad Mursi, has vowed to restore order.

6 hurt in shooting on children’s park in south Sinai Maan News | Published Sunday 28/10/2012 (updated) 28/10/2012 23:09

SHARM AL-SHEIKH, Egypt (Ma’an) — Gunmen opened fire in a children’s park in south Sinai on Saturday night, wounding six, officials said. The al-Fayrouz park in al-Tur city was packed with families celebrating the Eid al-Adha holiday when a group of Bedouin men opened fire, witnesses said. Four children, a man and woman suffered injuries, some serious, medics said. One child lost the fingers on her left hand, they said.

Then there’s this additional aspect of the Sinai challenge; the op ed below from Al Arabiya provides a small window into the conflicted states of mind that characterize the Egyptian – and other Arab sub-groups’ – views of the Palestinian Arabs and the multidimensional challenges they have posed for three generations.

A Palestinian state in Sinai? By AHMAD NAGUIB ROUSHDY Al Arabiya

Rumour has it, and some articles in Egyptian newspapers have stated that the increasing crossings of Palestinians to the Egyptian Sinai through the illegal tunnels between Egypt and Gaza have been taking place in accordance with a plan by the Islamist-led government of Hamas in Gaza, which has ties with the Muslim Brotherhood-led government of President Mohamed Mursiin Egypt. The aim is to settle the Palestinians in Sinai, not as refugees but as a permanent homeland for them and to declare a Palestinian state there, substituting it for the West Bank… Every Egyptian sympathizes with the Palestinian cause, and much Egyptian blood has been shed in defense of it. But if these rumors are true, the Palestinians have shown themselves to be ungrateful and could be considered to be Egypt’s enemies. The Egyptian government should force any Palestinians now in Sinai to return to where they came from, since they cannot be considered refugees. The Mursi government’s ties with Hamas should not compromise Egypt’s security and sovereignty. When President Mursi in his speech at the United Nations General Assembly in September called for the right of the Palestinians to establish an independent state, he meant in Palestine and not in Egypt. Any Egyptian who helps the Palestinians or others to plunder our land must be considered a traitor. [More here]

Good to keep in mind when simple solutions are next offered up for the complex challenges in this part of the world.

Iran Claims Its Drone Transmitted Pictures of Restricted IDF Sites

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said on Sunday that Iran has in its possession UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) which are far more advanced than the one which the Hezbollah recently sent into Israel.

“Definitely, the technology of the drone which recently flew into the ‘Quds occupier regime’ by the Lebanese resistance movement and amazed the enemies is not the newest Iranian technology,” Vahidi noted.

On October 6, a Hezbollah drone penetrated Israeli airspace and, according to the Iranian news agency Mehr, came “very close to the Dimona nuclear plant without being detected by advanced Israeli and U.S. radar systems.”

The IDF Spokesperson’s office reported at the time that the drone was seen on Israel’s radar the entire time, and the IAF was waiting for an opportunity to shoot it down where it won’t cause damage to people or property.

The Iranian defense minister said Israel had made a lot of publicity over its Iron Dome air defense shield but the infiltration of the drone into the country “proved scandalous for Tel Aviv.

Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on October 21 that “the UAV that recently was able to penetrate into the occupying regime frightened the Zionist regime.”

On Monday Mehr quoted Esmail Kowsari, chair of the Iranian parliament’s defense committee, who said that Iran holds pictures of Israeli bases and other restricted areas, transmitted from the drone launched into Israeli airspace.

“These aircraft transmit their pictures online, and right now we possess pictures of restricted areas,” Kowsari said.

Reuters commented that Iran’s military regularly announces defense and engineering developments, but some analysts are “skeptical of the reliability of such reports.”

Nobody Here But Us Patriots

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Here are U.S. soldiers during a joint exercise with the Patriot anti-missile system in Tel Aviv, yesterday, October 24. This is part of the large joint missile defense exercise of the IDF and the U.S. Army.

The Patriot missile system is designed to detect, target and then hit incoming missiles. Thise missiles are often not more than 10 long and flying faster than the speed of sound.

The Patriot is a guided missile, with an infrared seeker that’s sensitive to engine heat. A ground-based, high performance radar finds, identifies and track the targets, and can lock on it when it’s as far away as 50 miles. An incoming missile flying at 5 times the speed of sound is going at about one mile per second. Once the missile is detected, the system makes automatic detection and launching decisions. Humans are just too slow for that one.

Back in the first Gulf War, the Patriots’ performance left much to be desired. The House Government Operations Subcommittee on Legislation and National Security reported that the “Patriot missile system was not the spectacular success in the Persian Gulf War that the American public was led to believe. There is little evidence to prove that the Patriot hit more than a few Scud missiles launched by Iraq during the Gulf War, and there are some doubts about even these engagements. The public and the United States Congress were misled by definitive statements of success issued by administration and Raytheon representatives during and after the war.”

A Fifth Estate documentary quotes former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Arens as saying the Israeli government was so dissatisfied with the performance of the missile defense, it wanted to launch its own military retaliation on Iraq, despite American objectio (the U.S. was worried about reactions from Arab members of the Coalition of the Willing).

Obviously, much has been improved in two-plus decades – let’s hope. And also let’s hope those young men are having a good stay in Tel Aviv. It’s an amazing city with cheap bike rentals…

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/nobody-here-but-us-patriots/2012/10/25/

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