Hezbollah Mirsad-1 UAV Penetrates Israeli Air Defenses
For the second time in five months, Hizbollah militants operating an Iranian-made drone successfully penetrated Israel’s air defenses and flew unmolested for nearly nine minutes on April 11 over Western Galilee cities and settlements before returning safely to southern Lebanon. Local residents first reported the UAV which was not initially picked up by Israel’s elaborate, overlapping sensor-fused early warning network.
Current air defenses are not designed to detect and recognize small, low-flying, slow-moving objects like small UAVs, whose flight profile on radar and even through electro-optical and other sensors is obscured by ground clutter, glare and other environmental conditions. “It’s like catching a mosquito with a net,” said Brig. Gen. Ruth Yaron, the IDF’s chief spokeswoman.
By the time the Israel Air Force vectored fighters and combat helicopters to intercept, the camera-equipped Mirsad-1 UAV had already crossed back into Lebanese territory with fresh video streams from its estimated 18-mile roundtrip flight. While the flight itself had little military value, some analysts have expressed concerns that future incursions of UAVs equipped with more deadly payloads like biological or chemical agents could become a more potent threat. C4ISR Journal: UAV Finds Flaw in Israeli Air Defenses