Israeli seaborne missile defence system used for first time

By Thomson Reuters Apr 9, 2024 | 6:35 AM

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel for the first time used a seaborne missile defence system to shoot down a drone approaching from the Red Sea that had set off sirens in the port city of Eilat, the military said on Tuesday.

Eilat has been a frequent target for launches by Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen as a show of support for Hamas, the Palestinian group that rules Gaza and is also backed by Iran.

Israel positioned missile boats in the Red Sea after the start of the war in Gaza, the military said. One of those missile boats shot down the drone with the new system called the C-Dome.

“Overnight, for the first time ever, an IDF Sa’ar 6-class corvette missile ship successfully intercepted a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) that had approached from the east and had crossed into the area of the Gulf of Eilat,” the military said.

C-Dome, according to Israeli defence contractor Rafael, uses the same interceptors as the land-based Iron Dome that counters shorter range shorter range rockets and drones.

It bookends Israel’s multi-tier air defence array opposite Arrow-3, which is designed to intercept ballistic missiles outside the earth’s atmosphere.

(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Angus MacSwan)