The IDF released video footage showing, for the first time ever, Israel destroying a ballistic cruise missile in space using its highly customized F-35I “Adir” fighters.
The Houthis, a Yemeni militia that has successfully resisted an Arab coalition supported by the US for five years, declared war on Israel on Tuesday in support of Hamas and started firing drones, ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles at the Jewish State, moving the region closer to a major conflict.
The Israeli military has taken advantage of the Houthi ballistic and cruise missile barrages against Israel to showcase some of its most advanced weaponry. The IDF released video footage purporting to show the first-ever intercept of an incoming missile using Israel’s highly customized F-35I “Adir” fighters and the Arrow Aerial Defense System.
The IDF’s social media accounts published a video of the purported downing of a ballistic missile using an Arrow interceptor on November 2, with the footage marking what may be the first-ever intercept of an enemy ballistic missile in space, and the first-ever reported case of space combat.
The intercept, which is believed to have happened on October 31, marks only the system’s second combat deployment in history. The first one happened in March 2017, when an Israeli jet involved in a bombing run against Syria over Lebanese airspace was shot down by an Arrow missile.
According to media sources, the Israeli interceptor missile version Arrow-2 was deployed. Israel and the US collaborated on the development of the interceptor, which can intercept ballistic missiles with a range of short to medium length. The weapon, which was initially used in 2000, is a two-stage solid-propellant rocket. According to the system’s developers, the interceptor may reach hypersonic speeds in order to neutralize opposing missiles.
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A second projectile approaches quickly, an explosion occurs, and the faint form of a cylindrical missile-shaped object is seen flying through the air in footage of the intercept made public by the IDF.
According to the IDF, the second video depicts an F-35I fighter tracking and taking down an enemy cruise missile. The enemy missile can be seen in the video traveling toward the ground at subsonic speed before abruptly catching fire as it comes into contact with a light item.
The shootdown is a first of its kind for the F-35I since the US-made warplane’s introduction into service late 2017, although the jets have previously been deployed against Syria for other missions. The Israeli variant of the F-35 features a number of major modifications to the base model fighter, including customized command, control, communications, electronic warfare and weapons integration systems.
It is believed that the Houthis possess hundreds of ballistic, cruise, and anti-ship missiles in their arsenal. The majority of these weapons are upgraded versions of Soviet-era weapons, acquired during the Yemeni militia’s five-year conflict with an Arab coalition commanded by Saudi Arabia and supported by the US and UK. Long-range drones, which the militia is rumored to have, have been quite effective against their enemies.
Gregory Daco, chief economist at EY-Parthenon, Ernst & Young’s global strategy consulting arm, told the New York Times that the Israel-Hamas conflict may cost the global economy $2 trillion.
Saudi Arabia is said to have helped with the interception of missiles aimed toward the Jewish State. Israel has stationed naval forces in the Red Sea to confront the Houthi missile and drone threat.