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Bull’s Eye! Naval Test of Long Range Interceptor a Success

December 1, 2022

by: Janet Aslin

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The LRAD interceptor is launched from a Sa’ar 6-class corvette.

Thursday, 1 December 2022 | Yesterday Israeli military and defense officials announced the successful launch of an LRAD (long-range interceptor) from a Sa’ar-6 class corvette. IAI (Israel Aerospace Industries) CEO Boaz Levy said, “The success of this experiment is a technological breakthrough in the field of naval defense systems against missiles.”

This story began in 2015 when Israel signed an agreement with Germany for the purchase of four Sa’ar-6 corvettes that would become the core defense of her coastline and economic waters. In the naval world, a corvette is traditionally the smallest vessel considered a warship. And these four were designed to carry top of the line defensive weapons and surveillance systems. Testing of the various systems has been ongoing since the delivery of the vessels (2019–2021).

This week’s successful test showcased the Barak Magen air defense system which launched the LRAD (long range interceptor). The Barak Magen system is a product of IAI and the Defense Ministry’s R&D division.

The need for the defense of Israel’s gas fields in the Mediterranean has been in the news this year. Hezbollah has issued multiple verbal threats and, last June, sent three armed drones to the Karish field. All were intercepted before they reached the site.

Future threats may come in the form of long-range missiles from Iran rather than armed drones from nearby Lebanon and this is what the Israeli navy and defense ministry are preparing for. Lt. Col. Ariel Shir told the Jerusalem Post, “The Barak Magen system in general, and the LRAD interceptors in particular, allow the defense ships improved detection and interception capabilities, at significantly greater ranges and against the range of air threats.”

The Barak Magen system is not the only one recently tested on the Sa’ar-6 corvettes. The vessels are also equipped with the C-dome, a seagoing version of the highly successful, land-based Iron Dome. Testing of the C-dome has been ongoing since early 2022. In mid-November, the Defense Ministry and Israeli Navy declared ship-mounted system was declared operational.

A quote attributed to Golda Meir, former Israeli prime minister, spells out the situation Israel finds herself in as far as the need for robust defensive capabilities on both land and sea. “If the Palestinians lay down their weapons, there will be peace. If the Israelis lay down their weapons, there will be a massacre.”

Sadly, threats against the tiny nation have not diminished. The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) and companies like IAI continue to develop and refine Israel’s frontline of defensive weaponry like the Barak Magen systems of this week’s landmark test. With Israel’s ability to defend herself, comes the hope that she will not need to use the weaponry and the seas will remain peaceful.

Posted on December 1, 2022

Source: (Bridges for Peace, December 1, 2022)

Photo Credit: Marco Kuntzsch/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

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