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How does Israel's multilayered air-defence system work?

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An incoming attack by Iranian drones and ballistic missiles poses the latest challenge to Israel’s air defence system, which already has been working overtime to cope with incoming rocket, drone and missile attacks throughout the six-month war against Hamas.

Here’s a closer look at Israel’s multilayered air-defence system:

Former U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice, front, addresses the media in front of a launcher of an Arrow II ballistic missile interceptor during her visit to Palmachim Israeli Air Force base near the city of Tel Aviv, Friday, May 9, 2014. (AP Photo / Tsafrir Abayov)

The Arrow

This system developed with the U.S. is designed to intercept long-range missiles, including the types of ballistic missiles Iran said it launched on Saturday. The Arrow, which operates outside the atmosphere, has been used in the current war to intercept long-range missiles launched by Houthi militants in Yemen.

The David's Sling Air Defense System is seen during a ceremony inaugurating a joint U.S.-Israeli missile interceptor at the Hatzor Air Base, Israel. Sunday, April 2, 2017. (AP Photo / Sebastian Scheiner)

David's Sling 

Also developed with the U.S., the David’s Sling is meant to intercept medium-range missiles, such as those possessed by Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Israeli soldiers are seen next to a Patriot rocket interceptor battery deployed in the northern Israeli city of Haifa, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013. (AP Photo / Tsafrir Abayov)

Patriot

This American-made system is the oldest member of Israel’s missile-defence system – used during the First Gulf War in 1991 to intercept Scud missiles fired by Iraq’s leader at the time, Saddam Hussein. The Patriot is now used to shoot down aircraft, including drones.

Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system fires to intercept a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, near Sderot, Israel, Thursday, May 11, 2023. (AP Photo / Ohad Zwigenberg)

Iron Dome

This system, developed by Israel with U.S. backing, specializes in shooting down short-range rockets. It has intercepted thousands of rockets since it was activated early last decade – including thousands of interceptions during the current war against Hamas and Hezbollah. Israel says it has a success rate of over 90 per cent.

U.S. President Joe Biden, centre left, Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz, sixth left, caretaker Prime Minister Yair Lapid, eighth left, Israeli expert on technology and innovation Daniel Gold, fourth left, Israeli army Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi, fifth left, and US Defence Attache in Israel, Brigadier General Shawn A. Harris, ninth, pose for a photo as they tour Israel's Iron Beam and Iron Dome defence systems, at Israel's Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, Wednesday, July 13, 2022. (Gil Cohen-Magen / Pool via AP)

Iron Beam

Israel is developing a new system to intercept incoming threats with laser technology. Israel has said this system will be a game changer because it is much cheaper to operate than existing systems. However, it is not yet operational.

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