As the world now sees the remarkable normalization of diplomatic relations between the Gulf countries and Israel, many Middle-East nations are now interested in purchasing Israeli air defense systems, according to an Israeli Newspaper site.
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The renewed relations with the UAE, Bahrain, and Sudan could be followed by another up-to 10 countries that could soon normalize relations with Jerusalem including Saudi Arabia & Oman.
This also opens up a new possibility that Israel might open up its arms industry to the Gulf, which could be a significant step and would mark a new era in sustaining peace in the region and big business for the Jewish nation.
This is also ironic as it was Israel itself which used to (and still does) oppose any kind of military up-gradation of its rival nations, however, recently, Jerusalem indicated a shift towards its stance on weapons sales, giving nod to the United States to sell its F-35s to UAE.
Nevertheless, Israel still strongly opposed the Qatari request for the same aircraft, saying that safeguarding its military edge in the region is the top priority for the nation.
While there is still some time left until “complete trust” is established amongst these nations, a new report states that many of the Gulf countries are interesting in procuring the Israeli Iron Dome air defense system. It has already been known that the UAE and Saudi Arabia are interested in these potent systems.
Saudi Arabia has been experiencing many drone attacks on its critical installations, which came as a repercussion from its involvement in Yemen. Houthi drone and missile strikes have caused a lot of damage to its oil fields and pipelines. And the Iron Dome might just be the right solution for it.
The Iron Dome
Iron Dome is one of the world’s most successful air defense systems (if not the most successful air defense system) with a success rate of more than 90%.
On 7 April 2011, the system successfully intercepted a BM-21 Grad launched from Gaza for the first time. On 10 March 2012, The Jerusalem Post reported that the system shot down 90% of rockets launched from Gaza that would have landed in populated areas.
By November 2012, official statements indicated that it had intercepted over 400 rockets. By late October 2014, the Iron Dome systems had intercepted over 1,200 rockets fired towards Israel.
It is said that necessity is the need for invention, and Israel had to develop such a system to defend its airspace from its hostile neighbors who would regularly target its civilians with rocket and missile.
The Iron Dome is part of a future multi-tiered missile defense system that Israel is developing, which includes Arrow 2, Arrow 3, Iron Beam, Barak 8, and David’s Sling.
Israel’s missile defense systems are said to be the best systems around the world, with each layer highly capable on its own. The Barak-8 Missile developed jointly with India is designed to defend against any type of airborne threat including aircraft, helicopters, anti-ship missiles, and UAVs as well as ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and combat jets.
It is also working on a new directed-energy based system known as Iron beam, a futuristic laser-based air defense system capable of tackling any sort of aerial threat to its critical installations.