IDF says Iron Dome shot down own drone during fighting
- Israel’s iron dome has repelled thousands of rockets and even drones in recent fighting.
- The air defense system also accidentally shot down an Israeli military drone.
- The Israel Defense Forces told Israeli media that the friendly fire incident was under investigation.
The Israeli Iron Dome accidentally shot down an Israeli military drone during recent fighting with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, the Israel Defense Forces told local media.
“As part of the series of fighting in Gaza and as part of the defense of the country’s skies, an IDF Skylark drone was hit by Iron Dome,” an IDF spokesman told Haaretz, adding that the The incident was under investigation.
Skylark drones are small unmanned aerial vehicles built by Elbit Systems, an international defense company based in Israel, and used by the “Sky Rider” unit of the IDF Artillery Corps for intelligence, surveillance and surveillance missions. of recognition.
Haaretz reported that the IDF is “concerned” about the friendly fire incident because it calls into question the army’s ability “to carry out a long period of combat without harming its own forces. It is unclear how much of a concern this is.
During a recent 11-day conflict involving an intense exchange of fire between the IDF and Palestinian militants in Gaza, the Israeli Iron Dome faced thousands of rockets, as well as enemy drones, the latter of which was a first for the system.
The Israeli Iron Dome is a short-range air defense system designed to intercept rockets, artillery, and mortars. The system has been in use since 2011 and is in place to reduce the death toll from rocket attacks on Israeli cities.
The system was designed and developed by Israeli defense companies Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries with support from the United States. It is part of a larger tiered defense system that includes other critical assets such as the Arrow and Patriot batteries.
Israel’s Defense Ministry announced in March the completion of Iron Dome upgrades that would allow it to defend against a much more diverse set of air threats that Israel could combat in future conflicts.
During the upgrade process, the defense system was tested against a variety of threats, including rockets, missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles, the Associated Press previously reported. Iron Dome had not yet engaged a drone in combat.
Recent fighting began on May 10 when Hamas began launching Qassem rockets at Israeli towns after a period of heightened tensions and local clashes. During the conflict, the IDF repeatedly praised Iron Dome for its effectiveness.
The system would have intercepted 90% of incoming rockets, significantly reducing Israeli losses. Thirteen people, including two children, died in Israel from the rockets that passed through. Palestinian deaths, as Israel retaliated with airstrikes, were much higher.
The Times of Israel, which also reported on the accidental fall of an Israeli drone, said the Israeli military carried out around 1,500 airstrikes in Gaza during the conflict. According to the health ministry in Gaza, at least 243 Palestinians were killed, including several dozen children, and around 2,000 injured. Those who died included both combatants and civilians.
The horrific conflict, one of the worst fights in years, ended last Friday with a ceasefire agreement.