For the first time, the Patriot Missile Division shot down an unmanned aerial vehicle that breached Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip. IDF forces are currently combing the area of the interception.
This morning the IAF downed a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) that breached Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip. The soldiers of the Patriot Missile Division, who have been deployed to southern Israel, intercepted a UAV for the first time since the division joined the IAF around two decades ago. At this time, IDF forces are combing the area of the interception.
The threat of hostile UAVs has increased since the Second Lebanon War in 2006, when the terrorist organization Hezbollah sent an Ababil UAV into Israel. Approximately a year ago, IAF fighter jets intercepted a UAV in the skies above northern Israel after it infiltrated Israeli territory from the Lebanese border. In October of 2012, IAF fighter jets intercepted a UAV that breached Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli Patriot Missile Division is responsible for operating the Patriot Missile system to intercept aircraft and long-range ground-to-ground missiles. The system was integrated into the IAF in 1990, but with the breakout of the Gulf War and the threat of Scud missiles fired on Israeli territory, the IAF expedited the integration process of the batteries.
Since 2012, there has been a significant upgrade of the system and an adjustment to deal with the latest challenges, among them the interception of unmanned aerial vehicles.
"The 'Patriot' Missile Division is an inseparable part of the IAF's and its talented soldiers' answer to threats such as ground-to-ground missiles", said Colonel Chemi Bar-El, Commander of the "Sky Protection" Branch. "But, in the modern battlefield, the main threat comes from hostile UAVs and hang gliders".