Protecting Israel’s Skies
(Source: Israeli Air Force; issued Nov 29, 2017)
The IAF’s fighter squadrons and aerial defense division recently performed a mutual sky defense training exercise, in which they simulated the interception of UAVs that threatened to penetrate Israel’s airspace from the ground and from the air

Last week, the IAF’s fighter squadrons performed a sky defense training exercise alongside “Patriot” and “Iron Dome” aerial defense batteries. The forces protected Israel’s northern theatre, with an emphasis on the interception of unmanned aerial vehicles that attempted to penetrate Israel’s airspace. “Differently to squadron specific exercises, division-wide training strengthens the IAF as a unit and the cooperation between the elements that assemble it. This is reflected in mutual briefing between squadrons and cooperation with the aerial defense division”, explained Capt. Omri, an aircrew member from the “Hammers” Squadron and the squadron’s exercise leader.

Train Hard, Fight Easy

“We analyzed the expected intelligence, examined the threats, prepared for ‘surprises’ and built a complex scenario, more difficult than we expect the next campaign to be – train hard, fight easy”, added Maj. Itzik, Deputy Commander of the "Flying Dragon" Squadron.

Before the simulated campaign began, IAF Operational HQ designed an operation plan according to which IAF squadrons prepared for the exercise. The general plan divided the theatre into areas of defense for each squadron, while the aerial defense division operated alongside the fighter squadrons. “In addition, we rehearsed a new combat doctrine which deals with prioritization of different weapon systems in relation to the aerial target. The targets are divided according to the severity of the threat and the availability of the platforms”.

A Powerful Force

In November, a “Patriot” aerial defense system intercepted a UAV that penetrated the demilitarized zone to the north of Israel and threatened to penetrate Israel’s borders. This event is the most recent in a series of interceptions performed in the past year, executed meticulously by IAF aerial defense combatants. “At the end of the day, the IAF produced excellent results – our combat doctrines have proved themselves and the cooperation between our aerial and ground platforms is getting better as a powerful force in the protection of our country’s skies”.

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