Alwaght- In recent years, Israeli officials made many efforts to find purchasers in the region and the West for their much-vaunted Iron Dome air defense systems but failed and even their closest allies showed no will to buy the short-range interceptors. Ukraine government, for example, earlier this year made a request to procure the air defense batteries to counter advanced Russian missiles but now it have made a U-turn on its bid, saying they would not work against Russian missiles. On Monday, Ukraine's defense minister said that due to inefficiency of the Israeli-made systems, it withdrew its bid as they are far from being able to secure Ukrainian airspace. The Israeli air defense, he said, was developed to engage short-range, low-altitude rockets and is ineffective when it comes to cruise and ballistic missiles. The bid dropping by Kiev comes as Washington earlier made a bid for Iron Dome but eventually withdrew it.
This air defense system, which the Israelis spent billions to build and advertise it in the world with great fanfare, has proven to be very ineffective in operation. However, while the West is quitting bids for its procurement, there are some Arab sheikhdoms in the Persian Gulf that are counting down impatiently to buy this missile system in order to integrate it into their air defense as soon as possible. Setting their eyes on help from the West and freshly Israeli regime for their security and protection, they are zealous to buy the Israeli systems for high prices. Frustrated to develop a working protection in the face of retaliatory Yemeni missiles and drones, Saudi Arabia since last year set its agenda to buy them. Tel Aviv officials recently said they will provide the Arab kingdom with the anti-rocket batteries.
But beside bids for purchase of the Iron Dome by Arab monarchies, in recent weeks media outlets reported an expected meeting in Egypt's resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh to discuss establishment of an Arab-Israeli integrated air defense shield to tackle the Axis of Resistance's drone and missile power.
Relying on a tested-and-failed air defense
With Arab countries being utter consumers of military equipment and technology, it is apparent that the so-called integrated air defense shield revolves around a reliance on the Israeli technological potentials in radar and air defense systems, with Iron Dome being their showcase.
But it is hard to be optimistic about the viability of the Iron Dome as it already and during wars proved its incapability to effectively intercept Gaza rockets that are made with basic technology. According to reports, the Israeli system failed to neutralize old-generation Palestinian rockets and only engaged 70 percent of them and can be totally off-duty if large barrages of precision-strike missiles are fired at once.
The remarks by Western bidders together with the frustrating operational record of this interceptor presents questions as whether setting up an integrated air defense shield with Tel Aviv brings them security or only raises their security costs in addition to devouring their petrodollars.
The Saudi frustration in dealing with Yemeni missiles presents a smaller model for how the future would look like for the Arab monarchies if they rely on the air defense shield shared with the Israeli regime to protect their sensitive and economic sites. Tehran warned that if concrete steps are taken toward to Israeli-Arab joint defense plan, officially known as Middle East Air Shield, it would not remain silent. Therefore, Iron Dome-brought security is not but a mirage for Saudi Arabia as Yemen's Ansarullah in the past few months even honed its missile capabilities and is ready to resume strikes on the Saudi facilities with stronger fire power. Therefore, Iron Dome will be a nightmare for the Arab countries than a security umbrella.
Saudi leaders seek to hide behind an Israeli-provided protection walls in the face of so-called threats posed by Resistance forces. But experiences already made it clear that any regional projects without Iranian participation and against the Resistance camp are doomed to fail. Actually, the Saudi security that is planned to be set up on the foundation of Iron Dome is certainly shaky and prone to quakes as Riyadh and other Arab countries are entrusting their security to the Israelis who themselves beg their security from the West.