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Smart Bombs: Military, Defense and National Security

Special F-35s and More: Israel’s 5 Most Powerful Weapons of War

F-35I Adir Variant. Image Credit: Lockheed Martin.
F-35I Adir Variant. Image Credit: Lockheed Martin.

5 Most Powerful Israeli Weapons Systems: While living in a dangerous neighborhood, Israel always has to worry about getting outgunned and outmanned in the Middle East. That is why it relies on technological breakthroughs for military needs. These innovations produce powerful defense hardware and have led to the development of mighty weapons systems.

Below is a look at what many would consider Israel’s most powerful weapons systems–either coming soon or already on the battlefield.

Laser Iron Dome Will Be Shockingly Powerful

Like other countries, Israel is developing solid-state lasers for defense purposes. Israeli lasers will be used for eliminating drones, aircraft, missiles, rockets, and other incoming projectiles.

Directed energy will be used in conjunction with Israel’s vaunted Iron Dome missile defense system. According to the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, “The system uses a high-energy fiber-optic laser to destroy airborne objects within four to five seconds of firing. Current power levels of the lasers are in the tens of kilowatts and are expected to increase for greater destructive capability.”

Spike LR II Can Sting Adversaries

A surprise on this list because of the system’s innovative qualities, the Spike LR II is Israel’s next-generation missile. The Spike LR II has a range of 3.4 miles and weighs 28 pounds.

Do not be fooled by its small size because the Spike LR II packs a punch. According to the Jerusalem Post, it can attack “vehicles, helicopters, ships and ground launchers, and has advanced electro-optic seekers which include capabilities of a smart target tracker with artificial intelligence features.”

The fifth-generation Spike LR II uses a tandem high-explosive anti-tank warhead that enables an armor penetration of 30 percent more than previous warheads. It can also pierce up to 20 centimeters of concrete for the destruction of enemy bunkers. It can be mounted on the ground, on helicopters, and on vehicles and boats.

Israel’s Adir F-35I Outflies the Enemy

A game-changer for the Israeli Air Force is the new American F-35I fighter that has been integrated and adapted to Israeli standards.

The fighter jet is stealthy and able to fly undetected and can outmaneuver S-300 missile defenders in Iran if needed. The Israeli Air Force has ordered 50 F-35Is from Lockheed Martin to be delivered by 2024.

F-35I Adir

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Photo by Liz Lutz Job Reference Number: FP161047 Murray WMJ Reference Number: 16-03883 Customer: Allie Murray, Communications Event: AS-1 First Flight, CO-2 Flight Aerials Aircraft: F-35, Israel Pilot: Alan Norman Location: Fort Worth, TX Date: 07-27-2016 Time: 1100-1300 This image is Public Release Approved per Allie Murray, F-35 Communications

The Israelis call the warplanes the “Adir,” which is translated as Mighty in Hebrew. The Mach 1.6 speed can aid in maneuverability. Israel wants to put its own home-grown avionics in the F-35I for better electronic warfare and real-time data acquisition. The variant will eliminate the threat of mobile rockets systems used by Hamas and Hezbollah to protect the homeland.

Israel's F-35I Adir

F-35I Adir. Lockheed Martin Photo

Merkava Mk. 4 Barak Tank Outclasses the Competition

The Merkava Mk. 4 Barak is Israel’s most advanced tank. A new helmet for crew members, the IronVision, allows users to see targets, terrain, and obstacles outside the tank. This visualizes the battlefield in the 360-degree high-resolution video day or night and in any weather. New crew members can train on the “smart tank” with virtual reality systems. An improved fire control computer featuring artificial intelligence takes away the need for conducting routine tasks so the crew can focus on eliminating enemy targets. This fire control system is even more lethal than the one onboard the able Merkava 4.

Israel's Merkava

Merkava Tank. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Israeli Naval Surface Drone Is Exciting

You don’t often think of the Israeli navy, but this vessel is difficult to leave off the list. It is called the Protector Unmanned Surface Vehicle. The Protector USV has precision strike and electronic warfare capabilities. Like other drones, they can take on dangerous missions without placing sailors at risk. It can be outfitted with the Spike LR II missile described above.

The onboard gun is remote-controlled with quick reaction time due to the onboard sensors and advanced command and control system.

The Protector USV can eliminate “swarming” boats that endanger bigger vessels. This capability was tested successfully via simulation in 2018. The surface water drone can protect allied navies that are often challenged by swarms of Iranian boats.

Which Military Weapon is Tops for Israel? 

It’s difficult to pick a number one favorite from this list, but I am going with the Merkava Mk. 4 Barak tank. The technology is too exciting to ignore. It has to be one of the most advanced tanks in the world. The laser Iron Dome can also protect the citizenry of Israel and that’s what homeland defense is all about. Thus, defense technology has become synonymous with Israel.

Now serving as 1945’s Defense and National Security Editor, Brent M. Eastwood, PhD, is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood.

Written By

Now serving as 1945s New Defense and National Security Editor, Brent M. Eastwood, PhD, is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer.