Guy Plopsky

Enhancing the IAF’s Qualitative Edge: The Air-Launched Cruise Missile Option

| April 16, 2018

The acquisition of advanced air and air defense systems by existing and potential adversaries presents the Israeli Air Force (IAF) with a new qualitative challenge. To maintain its technological edge, the IAF is investing considerable resources into upgrading its fourth-generation platforms, acquiring new fifth-generation F-35I multi-role fighters, and developing other relevant capabilities. These actions will secure the IAF’s position as the dominant air force in the region. However, the IAF’s fourth-generation fighters – its F-16s and F-15s –will be exposed to significantly greater risk than before. By acquiring and integrating stealthy, long-range air-launched cruise missiles on one or more of its fourth-generation fighter types, the IAF can greatly minimize the risk to their crews while allowing them to tackle a wide range of targets in highly contested environments.

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Russia’s Air Defenses in Syria: More Politics than Punch

| October 18, 2017

As a result of Moscow’s geopolitical considerations in Syria, chief among them the desire to avoid direct confrontation with the US and Israel, Russia’s air defenses in the region have assumed the tasks of political intimidation and reassurance. The Kremlin has issued warnings to both Israel and the US-led anti-ISIS coalition not to strike forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad, but Russia is unlikely to attempt to engage Israeli or coalition aerial assets unless its own forces are attacked or the assets approach Russian military installations too closely. Even then, intercepting them will be no easy task. While Russia’s modern air defenses in Syria are formidable, they are not “game-changers.”

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