Here's what protected Israel from Iran’s drone and missile strike

Israel has a multi-layered air defence system that has intercepted thousands of rockets since it first went into operation in 2011


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Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system. File: Reuters
Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system. File: Reuters

Published: Sun 14 Apr 2024, 11:08 AM

An incoming attack by more than 300 Iranian drones and ballistic missiles was the latest challenge to Israel’s air defense system. The country’s defense system with assistance from the US and Britain is credited with preventing serious damage or casualties.

Here’s a closer look at Israel’s multilayered air-defense system:

The Arrow

This system developed with the US is designed to intercept long-range missiles, including the types of ballistic missiles Iran said it launched on Saturday. The Arrow, which operates outside the atmosphere, has been used in the current war to intercept long-range missiles launched by Houthi militants in Yemen.

David’s Sling

Also developed with the US, the David’s Sling is meant to intercept medium-range missiles, such as those possessed by Hezbollah in Lebanon.


This American-made system is the oldest member of Israel’s missile-defense system – used during the First Gulf War in 1991 to intercept Scud missiles fired by Iraq’s leader at the time, Saddam Hussein. The Patriot is now used to shoot down aircraft, including drones.

Iron Dome

This system, developed by Israel with US backing, specialises in shooting down short-range rockets. It has intercepted thousands of rockets since it was activated early last decade – including thousands of interceptions during the current war against Hamas and Hezbollah. Israel says it has a success rate of over 90%.

Iron Beam

Israel is developing a new system to intercept incoming threats with laser technology. Israel has said this system will be a game changer because it is much cheaper to operate than existing systems. However, it is not yet operational.


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