Khets-3 SAM will not protect Tel Aviv from Tehran’s massive strike.
Strange information has arrived from Tel Aviv about the successful testing of the Hetz-3 missile defense system (Arrow). In Alaska, the joint efforts of the Israeli and American military in space intercepted three ballistic target missiles.
Pretty late tests. The complex has been in service with the Israeli Air Force for two and a half years. And all this time there was talk that the Hetz-3 was such a formidable weapon that its missiles were capable of intercepting enemy missiles outside the atmosphere. Officials who claimed this had to take a word.
And, finally, it happened. There is a feeling that the Israelis in a less tense situation would not spend shekel to deliver the complex across the ocean and intercept several target missiles there, which also had to be paid for. And on its territory for testing missile weapons, which have such a high altitude and range of destruction, as they say, there is nowhere to turn around. Tel Aviv conducted tests to demonstrate its defensive capabilities in a situation of increasing likelihood of active hostilities between Iran and the United States. And without Israel, of course, war, if it occurs, will not be enough.
It is no coincidence that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who combines the post of head of government with the post of Minister of Defense, commented on the test results. “Success exceeded our expectations,” he said. “Hetz-3” successfully intercepted ballistic missiles outside the atmosphere at altitudes and speeds that we had not seen before. The execution was perfect – every time a bullseye. ”
A corresponding signal was sent to Iran.
– Today, Israel has the ability to withstand ballistic missiles that can be fired at us from Iran or from anywhere else. This is a tremendous achievement in terms of the security of our state, – Netanyahu said.
The Hetz-3 will complement the Israeli multi-level missile defense system, which was created primarily to intercept short-range missiles, which are available in sufficient quantities from unfriendly neighbors, and which are used to shell Israeli cities and settlements. Initially, it was necessary to defend with the help of the American Patriot air defense system, which soon disappointed not only Israel, but also Saudi Arabia. The probability of the American complex intercepting even the “plain” Scud missiles and their local modifications is small.
As a result, Israeli engineers created several complexes, the effectiveness of some of them is higher than that of the “Patriot”.
The first level of missile defense is represented by the Iron Dome missile batteries, designed to intercept unguided tactical missiles and rockets with a range of 4 to 70 kilometers. The interceptor missile has a length of 3 meters and a mass of 90 kilograms. Equipped with active homing radar. It intercepts targets at altitudes of up to 10 kilometers.
The defense of the second level is provided by the Sling of David. The complexes were adopted two years ago, they are intended to replace the American “Patriots”. This is a more serious weapon, which is reflected in the cost of one rocket, equal to a million dollars. The rocket is two-stage, solid fuel. It has two channels of target search – active radar and optoelectronic. The David s Sling is designed for ballistic and cruise subsonic missiles with a launch range of 70 km to 300 km. It can also be used against airplanes and helicopters.
The third line of defense is provided by the Hetz-2 mobile complex, designed to intercept medium-range missiles – up to 3,000 km. And here it is necessary to say that the Israeli commentators of the Hetz-3 air defense test somewhat exaggerated its revolution in terms of inter-atmospheric interception. Hetz-2 is capable of doing the same.
The characteristics of the Hetz-2 SAM are as follows. Interception range – 100 km, altitude – 80 km. The warhead of the rocket is a high-explosive fragmentation. The range of the radar – 600 km. At the same time, 12 ballistic missiles are accompanied.
For the tasks to be solved, the Hetz-2 is comparable with the American THAAD complex. But inferior to him in combat capabilities. At the beginning of this year, Lockheed-Martin decided to take advantage of this circumstance, producing and selling THAAD at $ 3 billion for the complex.
In April 2019, 250 American troops, in collaboration with local air defense forces, conducted a training session on the rapid deployment of the THAAD complex in Israel. According to the commander of the Israeli air defense forces, Rahan Kochava, the US complex was integrated into the country’s missile defense system as the equivalent of the Hetz air defense system.
But it seems that the battle for a major contract was won by Boeing, which, together with the Israeli company Israel Aircraft Industries, created a new, more advanced modification of the Hetz-3.
Hetz-3 adopted a purely American method of interception using a kinetic warhead. That is, the rocket is equipped with a “blank” that does not have explosives. The destruction of an intercepted missile of the enemy occurs due to a mechanical blow of great energy.
The missile is equipped with a rotary nozzle, which allows to increase its maneuverability. For maneuvering in an airless space, gas-dynamic rudders are used.
The Israeli prime minister said of “unprecedented heights and speeds,” without giving specific values. And here, when comparing the capabilities of Hetz-3 and THAAD, we can only talk about unprecedented speeds. The Israeli rocket is capable of accelerating to 2.5 km / s, the American to 1 km / s.
But at the same time, the “American ”’s interception height is more than 2 times – 200 km against 100 km. The same in range – 200 km versus 100 km from the “Hetz-3″. A radar with an active phased array antenna has a detection range of 900 km.
However, the THAAD complex is highly specific. It is capable of intercepting targets only in airless space – its control system and steering organs are designed to hit precisely ballistic missiles and precisely at large, cosmic heights. The Hetz-3 missile, equipped with a rotary nozzle and trellised aerodynamic rudders, copes with interception at atmospheric altitudes.
So how much does the new Israeli modification of the air defense system meet the specific requirements for it?
Clearly, it should not intercept the Chinese and Indian ICBMs, since Israel does not care about these two countries. It will not be able to intercept them, and this is not required.
At this turn of history, Russian missiles will not fly to Israel. Namely, the modern ones, and not those that the generous Soviet Union bestowed upon its Middle Eastern partners in the “building of socialism.” Clones of which are now mass produced. The Sling of David is able to cope with them. If, however, a clone of the Soviet OTRK “Tochka-U” is put into operation, for “Hetz-3” this is not a very difficult target to intercept.
However, with the OCRK Iskander ballistic missile, the Israeli complex will not succeed. Neither it nor THAAD. But not one Iskander will be delivered to the Middle East. As Russians say, matches are not a toy for children.
The “customers” of the new Israeli complex are two medium-range Iranian missiles. At first, Iranian engineers, as claimed in the West, with the help of China and North Korea created the Shahab medium-range liquid rocket, which was adopted at the end of the last century. In the end, it came to the Shahab-3 solid-fuel modification, which has a range of about 2,500 km. Its tests were completed in 2008. The rocket is pretty perfect. It can carry up to 5 separable warheads with a total weight per ton. Able to perform anti-aircraft maneuvers. The probable circular deviation from the target due to the use of satellite correction was reduced to 30 meters.
The next development is Sajil-2. It is also a medium-range missile, reaching targets at a distance of 2000-2500 km. It used all the achievements of the older Shahib-3, as well as minimized the active section of the flight, which further complicates its interception.
That is, these weapons are not the day before yesterday, with which Hezbollah is trying to extend the Israeli missile defense. However, the Hetz-3 complex is capable of intercepting these missiles. However, it is no longer in the proportion of “one missile per missile”. The interception of one missile defense in this case has a certain probability, not equal to unity.
All this is true of attacks with a small number of missiles. However, about 600 Shahib missiles of various modifications are on duty at Iran’s mines and mobile launchers. A massive attack by even half of this arsenal cannot be completely repelled.