Roy Tov – roytov.com Oct 9, 2012
A particularly poor performance by the IAF
Two American F-16I jets in use by the Israeli Air Force intercepted and shot down an unmanned aerial vehicle during the early hours of October 6, 2012. The exact location of the event was not disclosed, but the IDF spokesman mentioned the south Mount Hebron region. Many of the pictures released show the limit between a forested area and the desert. This fits the landscape just north of Beer Sheva, where the southern desert is replaced to the north by various climatic zones. The drone had penetrated Israeli airspace at around 10AM after flying over the Mediterranean Sea. It was detected by the IDF only near Gaza. The jets were scrambled from the Ramon army base in the Negev. The extraordinary event lasted for half an hour, during which the drone flew towards Dimona. The assessment of the location is strengthened by testimonies of the shooting noise reported by residents of Meitar, just on the northern outskirts of Beer Sheva, along the infamous Road #60. The dramatic event was downplayed by the Hebrew media, which failed to mention why this event announces the opening of a new era in the Middle East.
No official information was released on the source of the drone. However, Iranian news websites quoted the following day Israeli reports claiming that the unmanned aircraft was sent by Hezbollah with Iranian help. Considering the analysis presented in this article, this is the most plausible option. Since Israeli and Iranian sources back it; it is probably true. This is not the first time that Hezbollah used drones against Israel. In August 2006, during the war between Israel and Hezbollah, the IDF intercepted two Hezbollah “Ababil” drones. One drone was downed in Lebanese airspace over the sea, while the other was shot down north of Haifa. In the following six years, nothing happened. Why an unmanned aerial vehicle now?
On September 2, 2012, Deputy Iranian Defense Minister Mohammad Eslami was interviewed by Press TV. He said that Iran had gathered technical information from the U.S. RQ-170 stealth drone it captured last year and “we are currently mounting missiles” on Iran’s long-range drone, the Karrar. The latter was unveiled on August 22 by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran. I analyzed these in Delaying Apocalypse: Iran Announces Missile Drones; the few data available shows that the Karrar performance can probably reach Israel.
This is not much by itself, but combined with another event, it manages to explain the timing of the Hezbollah’s flight over southern Israel. On September 4, 2012, The New York Times reported “Iran has resumed shipping military equipment to Syria over Iraqi airspace.” This was done over Iraqi airspace, avoiding the longer routes used until now. The USA has lost influence in Iraq. The latter lacks an air force; thus its skies are open to others. Since then, Assad Rebounded, showing significant gains in Aleppo and Homs. This is an indirect proof that the new short routes are open and effective. Probably Hezbollah is getting fresh supplies from Iran, including unmanned aircraft. This is a satisfactory explanation on the timing of the operation, but not for its geographical feat.
No less striking was the lack of serious Israeli comments on the extraordinary path followed by the vehicle. It flew from Lebanon almost to the Dimona Nuclear Research Center. It flew along the Mediterranean coast, parallel to two main Israeli cities, Haifa and Tel Aviv. Major industrial centers and IDF bases were along the path. Then, in its last thirty minutes of activity, the drone passed through some of the main IAF and Intelligence Directorate bases. This includes a listening station serving the USA and CAZAB. Israel couldn’t stop it. As I repeatedly claim here, the short-range Iron Dome antimissile system was ineffective, despite the fact that a drone flies slower than a missile. The IDF carefully manipulates the statistics of this system, so it can be marketed to Singapore and South Korea.
In other words, the entire Israeli heartland was proven to be within reach of Hezbollah’s drones. All Israeli defenses failed; they barely intercepted the drone after it flew above some of Israel’s most sensitive installations. This was downplayed by the IDF’s spokesman.
Neither the Iron Dome nor the other mid- and long-range Israeli antimissile systems were effective. Israel was forced to deploy two of the best American jets in order to destroy the threat. It took Israel over thirty minutes from the moment the aircraft entered its airspace to shoot it down. This happened despite the fact that these jets can cross the area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River in literally seconds. This was a particularly poor performance by the IAF.
Once the technology is developed, the construction of drones is cheap. They are mainly made of composite materials and electronic circuits. From the design and construction point of view they are not different from fancy laptops. The speed with which Iran managed to replicate the American drone they downed last year is a convincing proof of that. In contrast, antimissile systems and manned jets are extraordinarily expensive. Israel is facing a financial war, which it has no chance to win, even if the Rothschilds help.
Israel’s mantra in recent years is “War with Iran, War with Iran, War with Iran.” No matter which leader you listen to, the only message Israel has is that a war between it and Iran is imminent. This is not surprising, Israel has no other solution to its social problems. A war is the only way it has open to avoid a popular revolution against the oligarchy that is robbing the people there. Removing the oligarchy and the injustice is not something the government would ever consider; after all the oligarchy generously supports it. Yet, we do not live anymore in the 20th century. Lies from Soviet politruks, Nazi propagandists, or Zionist generals, do not work anymore. Most of the time, most people can recognize propaganda. Moreover, people have the right to defend themselves from abusing, violent governments. This time, Israel’s denizens got an unexpected help from the enemy imposed on them by their government. Iran is peacefully and efficiently neutralizing Israeli violence. Can Israel deliver jets against a fleet of drones, while keeping its attacking capabilities? The IDF spokesman won’t answer this question.