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IDF’s new arsenal: More munitions, precise missiles, greater firepower

CM 07/11/2021

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After approval of the state budget last week, the IDF can work on significantly increasing its stockpile of precision munitions in coming years.
The number of munitions that the military will purchase from the United States will be bolstered substantially compared to what has been held previously because of an increase in incoming threats and because of a greater number of targets identified by the military.
The IDF purchased tens of thousands of precision-guided munitions (PGMs) from the United States in recent years and used hundreds of Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) during Operation Guardian of the Walls in May on targets in the densely populated Gaza Strip. 

Though all JDAMs have been replenished by Washington, The Jerusalem Post learned that with the passing of the budget the military plans to acquire far more than ever before by 2024.
Though Washington has replenished Israel’s JDAM stockpile, the Americans are not willing to approve every request.

Iron dome anti-missile system fires interception missiles as rockets fired from the Gaza Strip to Israel, in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, May 19, 2021 (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)Iron dome anti-missile system fires interception missiles as rockets fired from the Gaza Strip to Israel, in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, May 19, 2021 (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

The IDF has been busy gathering thousands of targets in Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, and even Iran over the past two years, expecting rounds of violence to break out at any moment. The use of such high-precision munitions affords the hitting of strategic targets in crowded civilian environments with minimal civilian casualties. 
During the 11 days of fighting in May, the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said at least 243 Palestinians were killed, including 66 children and teens and that 1,910 people wounded. Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar said that 80 operatives who were killed during the fighting, 57 from Hamas and 22 from Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
The IDF says that more than 100 operatives belonging to Gaza terror groups were killed and that some of the civilian casualties were caused by Hamas rockets falling short, or civilian homes collapsing after an airstrike on Hamas’s tunnel network.
In addition to the major increase in precision weaponry that the IDF plans to purchase, some NIS 5 billion of the defense budget will go exclusively to what the IDF calls “Third-Circle Threats”, usually a reference to Iran. The funds will be allocated to intelligence gathering capabilities, increasing the military’s target bank even further, and training.
Israel considers Iran’s nuclear program as its number one challenge and although Iran has consistently denied seeking to build a nuclear bomb, tensions have risen as the West seeks to resume talks on reviving the deal to curb Tehran’s nuclear program.
In the past year, there has been an increase in the number of war-between-war operations carried out by Israel, as well as a number of targets struck, with most airstrikes targeting Iranian entrenchment and weapon smuggling in Syria and even at sea.
It is estimated that alleged Israeli attacks against Iranian ships have stopped between $1.2-2 billion from going to terror groups in the Middle East.
But the IDF has admitted that Iran’s conventional missile threat remains a major concern despite Israel’s multi-layered air defenses as it may not be able to contend with intensive missile barrages fired by Iran and its proxy groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon or Shiite militias in Iraq.
The budget will also allow the IDF to complete other important defensive projects such as building the wall along the border with Lebanon and implementing permanent defensive coverage in the airspace of northern Israel with additional fixed Iron Dome batteries that would be able to shoot down incoming drones or missiles.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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