Israel on Wednesday announced the recent test of a new air-defense configuration.
The test involved the Spyder surface-to-air system, made by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.
During the trial, the Spyder system’s components were combined into a single vehicle.
Facing a variety of airborne threats from different directions, Israel recently tested a new air-defense configuration that can blast them out of the sky.
Israel’s defense ministry announced Wednesday the completion of a “successful trial” last week involving the Spyder surface-to-air system, an air-defense asset that’s manufactured by the country’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. The system has been operated for nearly two decades by a handful of militaries, and is capable of engaging drones, aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, and precision-guided munitions.
The trial, a collaborative effort between Rafael and the Israeli defense ministry, involved a new configuration for the Spyder system called the “All-in-One” — or all the separate components of the weapon combined into one eight-wheel drive vehicle. This includes the missile launcher, radar, command and control system, and technology for surveillance and target acquisition.
Israel’s defense ministry said on the messaging app Telegram that the test, which occurred at an undisclosed location inside the country, involved scenarios simulating both “existing and future threats.”
Rafael said that the Spyder system intercepted a drone “in a challenging operational scenario, achieving a direct and effective hit.” The defense manufacturer described the test as a “first of its kind” and published a video of the interception, during which the Spyder system can be seen taking out a red drone with a missile.
The Spyder system uses two missile types, the Derby and the Python, both of which are included in the new configuration. These have a maximum range of between nine and 25 miles, and a maximum intercept altitude of 3.7 and 7.5 miles, according to a fact sheet.
Spyder’s All-in-One “provides an agile, autonomous, air-defense asset, capable of rapid deployment within minutes, in challenging terrains, and with short reaction times,” Rafael says in the system’s fact sheet. The company added that it provides air defense with a “minimized logistics footprint” that can protect mobile troops and sensitive sites.
The recent test comes as Israel faces aerial threats from Lebanon to the north and Gaza to the west, including rockets and drones fired from Iran-backed militant groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, groups with whom the Israeli military frequently trades cross-border strikes, exchanges that have sparked fears of a wider war. Amid the ongoing conflict with Hamas, Israel has also had to deal with threats launched its way by the Houthis in Yemen.
Israel maintains a sophisticated and multi-layer air-defense network, which, since the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attacks, has kept quite busy in shielding the country’s nearly 9,000 square miles of territory. The assets in play over the past few months include the Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and the Arrow systems.
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