Watch: IAF Patriot missiles in action

The Israeli Air Force held a wide-ranging training exercise for air and missile defense.

Tzvi Lev,

Patriot Missile Battery
Patriot Missile Battery
IDF/Flash 90

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) held an extensive training exercise Tuesday night, in order to strengthen the cooperation between the different elements of the Air Force.

As part of the exercise, troops drilled intercepting enemy missiles with the Patriot missile defense system, including threats possessing unique characteristics, this in order to maximize the system's capabilities

Patriot missiles were also tested to see how they deal with threats from enemy unmanned aerial vehicles, a threat that they successfully dealt with in April 2017, when one downed an unmanned aerial vehicle over the Golan Heights that had infiltrated from Syria.

Later that month, the Patriot missile intercepted and destroyed a Syrian aircraft after it crossed into Israeli airspace.

The IAF first received the Patriot during the First Gulf War back in 1991, after Saddam Hussein launched barrages of Scud missiles into Israel. The United States sent Israel the Patriot Missile to defend itself in an effort to keep the Jewish state out of the war.

As the Patriot system was originally designed to defend against airplanes, its transformation into a missile defense platform brought mixed results.

While the Patriot successfully intercepted the Scuds, the resulting explosion sent shrapnel raining down onto civilians below. The Patriot's less then satisfactory method of downing missiles eventually spurred Israel into developing the Arrow missile, which intercepts enemy rockets as opposed to exploding them.