"Despite three launched missiles, we have not been able to take down and identify a drone that, a few hours ago, violated our airspace." Strange admission from the IDF, forced to clarify what happened yesterday afternoon, when were launched three missiles at an unidentified aircraft.
The drone came from Syria and this is the only certainty. A few seconds after they have detected it above the Golan Heights, the Israelis launched two missiles Patriot PAC-2 interceptors in rapid sequence: both missed the mark. The General Staff decides to send an F-16 to take down the threat, while all of missile defense stations in northern Israel were put on alert and ready to fight. The fighter frames the drone, launches a missile, but fails to hit it. The drone will never be brought down.
According to the IDF, the drone could be Russian-made. At this time the army is trying to ascertain the real target of the unidentified aircraft. Israel fears that the drone may have been sent by Hezbollah, which is currently fighting alongside the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad, for taking pictures of military maneuvers in the Golan.
On previous occasions, Israel has already shot down enemy drones on the Golan, but what happened yesterday demonstrates the effectiveness of the UAV threat, can overcome also one of the best defensive screens of the world as that of Israel.
The Israel Air Force specify that the "drone was monitored immediately, but any attempt to intercept it proved vain." The Israeli General Staff confirms an internal investigation to determine the nature of the drone and the circumstances that prevented his interception. What happened yesterday demonstrates the progress of UAV technology, is probably a step ahead of current shielding. If this gap were to lengthen, future scenarios could be unpredictable.
Although advanced, the air defenses of Israel were unable to intercept a single UAV threat. If it had been an swarm type attack, the direction in this regard has been taken by now, the Iron Dome and David's Sling defense systems may not be able to intercept a stratified threat.
Mystery, finally, on the characteristics of the drone. IDF shows maximum restraint, but if it were a low observable drone, Israel might be forced to review the defense strategy and confirm Hezbollah's capabilities.
(Photo: U.S. DoD / IAF)