Iran attacks Israel: Understanding Israel's defense system

FILE - The Israeli Iron Dome missile defense system (L) intercepts rockets (R) fired by the Hamas movement towards southern Israel from Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip as seen in the sky above the Gaza Strip overnight on May 14, 2021. (Photo by ANAS BABA/AFP via Getty Images)

Israel's air defense network is actively engaged as numerous Iranian drones and missiles were deployed from Iranian territory. 

This action follows recent warnings from Israeli leadership, indicating retaliation for an airstrike that claimed the lives of Iranian generals within a consulate building in Syria.

Israel possesses multiple layers of air defense capable of intercepting various threats, ranging from long-range missiles to UAVs and short-range rockets. Hagari emphasized that while Israel boasts an "excellent air defense system," it is not infallible and urged the public to heed safety announcements.

Here is an in-depth look at Israel's multilayered air-defense system: 

Iron Dome

Israel's Iron Dome is an advanced missile defense system designed to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells before they reach their targets. 

It utilizes radar detection and tracking units, command centers, and interceptor missiles, to protect against threats up to 70 kilometers away. Since its deployment in 2011, the Iron Dome has been vital in safeguarding Israeli civilians from rocket attacks launched by militant groups.

Iron Beam

This is Israel's latest technology the country has been developing as a new way to intercept incoming threats by using laser technology. 

This system, once operational, is anticipated to revolutionize defense strategies due to its cost-effectiveness compared to current systems. However, it is still in the development phase and not yet deployed.

The Arrow

Initially conceived and developed in the United States, this sophisticated defense system is meticulously crafted to intercept long-range missiles, a capability notably demonstrated by its successful interception of the ballistic missiles reportedly launched by Iran on Saturday.

The Arrow system, operating beyond the Earth's atmosphere, has played a pivotal role in the ongoing conflict, particularly in thwarting long-range missile attacks launched by Houthi militants in Yemen.

David’s Sling

Also developed in the U.S., this military apparatus comprises a two-stage missile equipped with dual guidance and targeting systems. Its primary objective is to intercept medium-range missiles, a critical capability essential for neutralizing threats posed by entities like Hezbollah in Lebanon.


Since its deployment during the First Gulf War in 1991, this surface-to-air missile defense system, known as the Patriot, has been instrumental in intercepting Scud missiles launched by Iraq's then-leader, Saddam Hussein. Over the years, its functionality has expanded to include the interception of various airborne threats, including aircraft and drones.

The Associated Press contributed to this story. It was reported from Los Angeles.