UAE deploys Israeli air defense system, satellite images show

The Barak 8 air defense system is stationed at the Al Dhafra Air Base, which also hosts the United States Air Force’s 380th Air Expeditionary Wing.

By David Hellerman, World Israel News

The United Arab Emirates has deployed Israeli air defenses to bolster capabilities against Iranian missiles and drones, according to an analysis of satellite images published by the Tactical Report website on Friday.

The satellite images showed what Tactical Report said were two Barak 8 launchers and an Elta ELM 2084 radar system deployed at the Al Dhafra Air Base south of Abu Dhabi.

The Barak 8 system was jointly developed by Israel and India to defend against jets, helicopters, drones and even missiles. A naval version has already been deployed on the Israeli Navy’s Saar 5 corvettes and several Indian Navy destroyers. Azerbaijan and Morocco have also purchased the system.

In 2021, a Barak 8 system in Azerbaijan intercepted a Russian-made ballistic missile fired by Armenia during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The short range Iksander missile was headed towards the Azeri capital of Baku.

The Barak 8 downed two of Hezbollah drones launched at the Karish gas field in June. A third drone was shot down by an Israeli Air Force jet.

The ELM 2084 radar system was developed by ELTA, a division of Israel Aerospace Industries.

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The UAE was struck by missiles and Iranian-made drones launched by Yemen’s Houthi rebels in the beginning of 2022. One attack occurred during a visit by Israeli President Isaac Herzog in January.

Russia has used Iranian-made kamikaze drones in destructive barrages on Ukraine, particularly infrastructure. Israel fears similar barrages launched by Hezbollah or other Iran-backed militias could target the Jewish state’s electricity grid, ports, bridges and other infrastructure.

In addition to the serving the UAE Air Force, the Al Dhafra Air Base also hosts the United States Air Force’s 380th Air Expeditionary Wing.

The Tactical Report assessment comes on the heels of a Reuters report in September that Israel had also sold the UAE an advanced short-to-medium range Spyder air defense system.