Israeli Air Defense Command

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The Israel Air Defense Command unit badge and symbol

The Israeli Air Defense Command (in Hebrew: מערך ההגנה האווירית) is the Israel Defense Forces unit responsible for the surface front of Israel's air defense, complementing the air defense provided by Israeli Air Force squadrons. Initially a part of the IDF Artillery Corps, since 1970 the Air Defense Command has been subordinate to the Israeli Air Force.

History[edit]

During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, the Air Defense Network was part of the Artillery Corps, primarily relying on machine guns. During the 1960s, 40 mm radar-guided anti-aircraft guns were introduced, and in 1965, MIM-23 Hawk surface-to-air missiles. The latter were operated by the Air Force's surface-to-air units. In the 1970s, the entire Air Defense Network was merged with the Air Force.

On 23 September 2014, a Syrian Air Force Su-24 was shot down by an IAF MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile battery, after allegedly crossing the Syrian-Israeli ceasefire line during a ground attack mission against Syrian opposition forces.[1][2]

Arrow TMD missile system
Iron Dome air defense system

Weapons and equipment[edit]

  • MIM-104 Patriot, a high to medium air defense (HIMAD) medium tactical air defense platform capable of downing aircraft and ballistic missiles. Israel's Patriot missile systems have been technologically upgraded since entering service.[3]
  • Arrow missile, an Israeli-US-developed theatre missile defence (TMD) system meant to stop ballistic missiles in the stratosphere
  • David's Sling missile, advanced medium- to long-range atmospheric missile defense interceptor. Capable of downing of any kind of advanced tactical ballistic missiles, advanced cruise missiles, large-caliber rockets, UAV, UCAV, fighter and bomber jets.
  • Iron Dome, a short-range air defense system designed to defend against rockets, artillery shells, and precision-guided munitions. The first battery became operational in May 2010.[4]

Organization[edit]

Although a part of the Air Force, the command has the same unit structure as the Artillery Corps. Its current commander is Brigadier-General Shahar Sochat, who is directly subordinate to the commander of the Air Force.

References[edit]