The Star of the Gaza Operation: Not Iron Dome but Regional Israeli Airborne Radar Platforms C2
Some eye-opening discoveries were made by the US military experts who analyzed the Israel Defense Forces’ performance in the counter-terror Pillar of Defense Operation Israeli mounted in the Gaza Strip during November 2012.
One major feat was the elimination of most of Hamas' top commanders, starting with the pro-Iranian Mohammed Jabari, chief of staff of Hamas’s militia, the Izzedin Al-Qassam Brigades.
But the operation’s most outstanding military achievement was provided by the unveiling of the advanced Israeli version of the Airborne Defense Systems and their seamless command and control – C2.
This airborne system makes it possible to carry out synchronized operations from dispersed locations, by providing them with centralized Command, Control, Communications, Computer, and Intelligence services – C4I – to support a complete force projection cycle.
The system offers responsive command and control, with the ability to assess the level of success and retain the flexibility for re-engaging a target with precision, by endowing top commanders with the ability to maintain dominant battlefield awareness by means of a fused, integrated, near real-time picture of the battle space.
US military experts say a specialized airborne system such as that employed by the IDF has since 2011 served the logistical needs of the operational branches of US military and policy-makers, from the US Commander-in-Chief-the President, to the Defense Secretary and Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs, and down to US combat brigade commanders around the world.
The Airborne C2 can overcome any Middle East military, including Iran’s
It was the first time in military history that any army had used the state-of-the art Airborne Radar Platform for repulsing a concerted enemy missile attack. It was exhibited in Gaza for the first time by the Israeli armed forces for three purposes:
1. To show Tehran that Israel possesses a superior regional command and control system able to overcome any military force in the Middle East, including Iran.
2. To show President Barack Obama that Israel is capable, if it so decides, of unilaterally attacking Iran’s nuclear program without depending on US military assistance.
The Israel Air Force operation over Gaza also showcased the large fleet of in-flight refueling aircraft Israel’s aviation industry had assembled in the last three years. It consists of 12 Boeing 707 refueling planes bought on the open market and converted into flying tankers.
Both these demonstrations were meant to discourage the Obama administration from periodically producing some American security boffin for a contemptuous dismissal of the IDF’s ability to undertake any operation on the scale of a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Before the US military sources studying the Gaza operation had released their findings, another of those military commentators, the retired US Central Command chief, Adm. William Fallon, went on record Thursday, Jan. 17, with a slightly less contemptuous opinion than the others. He did not question Israel’s fitness for an operation against Iran, only warned that it couldn’t be finished in one shot.
The C2 was the key to Iron Dome’s incredible score
3. The third purpose, DEBKA-Net-Weekly's military sources report, was the most important: The C2 system proved its mettle as the most effective device for anti-missile warfare against the 1,600 rockets, most made in Iran, launched by the Palestinian Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the eight-day conflict.
The, Israel-made anti-missile Iron Dome was widely touted by every Israeli leader, often for political gain, as responsible for knocking down most of the incoming Palestinian rockets.
(President Obama even touted his investment in developing the Iron Dome to the American voter, especially the Jewish electorate, as proof of his unswerving commitment to Israel's security.)
In actual fact, the American experts found that the new Israeli version of the airborne C2 was the key to Iron Dome’s incredible 85 percent score of interceptions against Hamas’s missiles, which were knocked down in mid-flight before they reached their targets.
According to the American analysts, 31 years ago, Israel used an earlier version of the C2 in the 1982 Lebanon war, thanks to which its air strikes were able to wipe out almost completely Syria’s air and missile defense systems, some of them operated by Russian officers.
In November, 2012, Israel military planners decided to deploy the more advanced version developed since then to shut down the Palestinian missile batteries in the Gaza Strip under Air Force command, control and brain power. It enabled the Iron Dome to beat down a dense blanket of missiles day after day for two weeks. This demonstration, say the US military experts, will prove to Tehran that Israel is capable of shutting down Iran’s ballistic missiles with the same ease as Hama rockets.