Israel’s Air Defense Chief Expects Missile War Soon

IDF prepares for suicide aircraft attacks, senior commander says; new Iranian missile seen as challenge to Israel’s air defenses.

Israel's air defense system Iron Dome
Iron Dome (Photo: IDF and Nehemiya Gershoni/Wikimedia Commons)

Israel will soon face a military conflict involving multiple missile attacks, the IDF’s Air Defense chief estimates.

Brig. Gen. Ran Kochav spoke to Walla! News about the different layers of IDF anti-missile defenses. Asked whether he thinks that the military will soon have to activate the various systems simultaneously, he replied: “I think we are close to it.”

The IDF is preparing for diverse threats including suicide aircraft, the senior commander said. He predicted that enemy missiles will target Haifa right at the outset of the next war in the north.

New challenge for IDF defenses

In August, Iran unveiled Haj Qasem, a ballistic missile with a reported range of 1,400 kilometers. The upgraded missile further confirms Iran’s shift to precision-guided weapons, missile expert Tal Inbar says. “The Iran-based missiles cover Israel, most targets in Saudi Arabia, and all the Gulf states,” he told Israel Defense. 

Western experts estimate that the new missile can reach very high speeds that would challenge the IDF’s air defenses, the report said. Israel possesses some of the world’s most sophisticated anti-missile systems, but their precise capabilities are classified.

Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. Kochav says that the IDF recently carried out a “highly classified” test of a laser-based defense system. The results were “very good” and a breakthrough was achieved, he said.

Kochav adds that the IDF is on the verge of revolutionizing its defense doctrine. Under the initiative, the Iron Dome software will be modified to allow all batteries to communicate with each other.

“We are going for innovative national defense,” the Air Defense chief said. However, the project will take some 10 years to complete.