Challenges To Israel’s Air Defenses ‘Growing More Complex,’ Says IAF Head

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Israel Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin speaks at the Israel Aviation Conference at Airport City, on May 02, 2018 (Photo by Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (Israel Hayom) — Speaking at a graduation ceremony for Israeli Air Defense Command officers on Wednesday, Israel Air Force commander Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin warned that the challenges facing the new officers were “growing more complex.”

“The security challenge is becoming more complex. In addition to the missiles and rockets, there are also attack drones and cruise missiles now,” said Norkin.

Norkin told the officers that the Air Defense Command was steadily becoming a more significant component of all IAF missions, and that he would soon be meeting them at their posts, defending the people and the country.

“I stand here before you all well aware of the importance of the Air Defense Command to me as air force commander, and that its daily contributions are steadily becoming a significant component of all missions and operations.

“As we speak, Arrow, Patriot, David’s Sling, and Iron Dome batteries are ready for battle. I know that in the near future I will be meeting you at your posts, defending the people and the country, having joined the team of air force commanders.

Norkin concluded his speech by saying that the “level of defense will be determined by the last fighter [in the chain of command], and we must train, drill and be extremely prepared. This is the air force’s culture, and we will make sure it continues to be.”

Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a press conference with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that Iran is deploying precision missiles in Yemen that are capable of hitting Israel.

According to Netanyahu, Tehran’s ambition is to obtain the capacity to launch a precision strike on any target in the Middle East.

Mnuchin pledged to increase economic sanctions against Iran, saying the administration’s “maximum pressure campaign” is halting Iranian aggression.

Iran has a large arsenal of ballistic missiles, some of which have a range of over 1,243 miles.

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