Launching Anew Launching Anew Launching Anew Launching Anew Launching Anew The IAF has officially changed the name of its anti-aircraft system to “Air Defense System”. During the celebratory announcement ceremony on Tuesday January 11, 2011, Brig. Gen. Doron Gavish, commander of the system, revealed its new logo

By: Michal Weissbrod

Hundreds of members of the air defense system gathered to receive a new tag to place over their left shoulder. A pair of ‘Netz’ (F-16A/B) planes from the ‘Golden Eagle’ squadron also came to congratulate the members of the new system.

“This is the first sign of a strategic change reflecting the central role of the system and its missions”, said Brig. Gen. Gavish. “As commander I’ve served in the system for over 27 years and know every nook and place where they’re spread out, but above all, I know the commanders and soldiers in the system, I know that for whomever works in aerial interception, the sky is not the limit’.

Behind the system commander stood missile systems that served in the IAF through the years, including from the veteran “Dragon” missiles to the new “Arrow” missiles and demonstrated the significant changes that have occurred in the system since its founding this week 61 years ago.

The first anti-aircraft weapons, which were smuggled into Israel were hidden among potato sacks, were replaced by active defense systems and advanced technology. In addition, the assignment of the system from just a mission of classic defense against enemy aircraft to a wider mission of protecting against the threat of missile and rocket attacks.

“We are beginning a different phase”, concluded Brig. Gen. Gavish. “The coming phase will put us at the front lines of the understanding of our national defense and the understanding of the power of the IAF and IDF, a time that demands nothing less than a revolutionary change in the way the entire system operates”.