Israel’s Iron Dome, a rocket system which is designed to take out incoming enemy rockets in a matter of seconds, would help to turn the tide in the Ukraine war as Russia unleashes brutal strikes on critical infrastructure. That’s according to Israeli soldiers who divulged the information in an exclusive Express.co.uk interview. But, it was claimed Jerusalem has refused to hand it to Kyiv for several reasons, according to Jacob Nagel, a former national security adviser to the Israeli prime minister and visiting professor at Technion.
Israel’s Iron Dome is a highly sophisticated rocket system set up at various undisclosed points across the country to eliminate incoming missiles.
The all-weather air defence system developed by Rafael Advanced Defense, has a missile interception success rate of over 95 percent, and is crucial for demolishing rockets that fly into its territory from across the borders – a frequent occurrence for the nation in the heart of the Middle East.
Express.co.uk was given access to an Israel Defence Forces base where a design of an Iron Dome was displayed, with soldiers (the names of whom cannot be revealed for security reasons) taking questions about the sophisticated defence system.
When asked whether the weapon would be able to turn the tide in Ukraine, a soldier, said: “Technically, yes. It has a success rate of 95 percent at taking out incoming missiles”.
But no other country has so far been able to develop their own Iron Dome. When Express.co.uk asked the IDF whether NATO could develop its own version, the soldiers responded that ”if they could, they would have done it already”.
The defence system is operated from different points around the nation to take out short-range incoming missiles by firing its own rockets, each one costing $150,000 (£130,000) which have to be reloaded one at a time, to take out the enemy weapon.
While other nations may not be able to develop the same kind of defence weapon, one option to help protect Ukraine from more missile strikes that have already taken out vast amounts of critical infrastructure could be for Israel to send the Iron Dome systems over. But so far, it has not sent a single weapon to Ukraine.
According to many analysts, Israel’s reluctance to send weapons is because Jerusalem does not want to risk scuppering Vladimir Putin’s support for Israeli airstrikes in Syria.
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But Mr Nagel, Israel’s former National Security Advisor, told Express.co.uk in an exclusive interview that there is a more important reason why the nation is holding back.
He said: “The first reason (why we can’t let Israel send weapons to Ukraine) is our biggest problem, and it is the tightening relationship between Iran and Russia.
“The systems that the US is sending to Ukraine, are not first line systems. Still, some of them like the HIMARS are sophisticated. But it is not a question of if they find themselves in the hands of the Iranians, it is a certainty.
“We are in a war, you cannot control it. We cannot take the chance of letting our weapons fall in the hands of the Iranians. In a war, systems on one side go to the other side. If the weapon is Ukraine, it will be in the hands of the Russians, and they will send it to Iran. If you have the Iron Dome, it will end up in the hands of the Iranians. It is the same problem with the US for their patriot missiles and others.”
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“We also don’t have enough systems to send Ukraine. They need two to three years to open up new production lines to dramatically increase the number of systems they are going to produce. It is not like we can send them tomorrow, send a system which we don’t have enough of, and then Hezbollah or Hamas would attack us.”
This comes after Retired Army Gen. George Joulwan said that Ukraine needs air defences similar to Israel’s Iron Dome missile interception system. He told CNN: “Well, it needs to be able to have some sort of air cap, or Iron Dome or some way to be able to take that initiative away from the Russians.”
Putin ordered a barrage of strikes to rain down on at least 10 Ukrainian cities earlier this month in a brutal escalation amid the invasion. The strikes dealt a significant blow to the nation’s critical energy infrastructure and encouraged the West to promptly ship over more advanced air defence systems.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has even previously appealed to Jerusalem in a bid to get his hands on the Iron Dome systems. He told Reuters last month: “I don’t know what happened to Israel. I’m honestly, frankly — I am in shock, because I don’t understand why they couldn’t give us air defences.”