Israeli general estimates cost of defending against attack – media

It reportedly took upwards of $1.3 billion worth of interceptor missiles and other materials to shoot down Iran’s aerial barrages

Israel has claimed success in defending itself against Saturday’s drone and missile barrages by Iran, but that effort reportedly came at a high price. The interceptors, jet fuel and other materials expended in shooting down Iran’s unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and missiles cost about 4 billion to 5 billion shekels ($1.06 billion to $1.33 billion), Israeli Brigadier General Reem Aminoach told local media outlet on Sunday. The estimate included only Israel’s direct costs, not counting the considerable weaponry used by the US and other allies in helping to defend against the attack. Aminoach, formerly the financial adviser to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) chief of staff, said West Jerusalem used such munitions as Arrow and David’s Sling interceptor missiles, which have per-unit costs of about $3.5 million and $1 million, respectively. He also included sortie expenses for the fighter jets that did the bulk of the work in shooting down Iranian drones.

The general lamented that it was far cheaper for Iran to launch the attack than for Israel to defend itself. “The attack cost Iran less than 10% of what it cost us to defend against it,” he told Ynet. “In the future – in a year, two years, or five years – they can carry out 50 such attacks. And let’s say that if the IDF’s net budget in 2023 was 60 billion shekels, with less than double that you have no chance of reaching a situation where we can maintain the required amounts.”
The IDF claimed that 99% of the more than 300 kamikaze drones and missiles launched from Iranian territory were successfully intercepted. All of the UAVs and cruise missiles were shot down, military spokesman Daniel Hagari said, while a few ballistic missiles got through Israel’s defenses. Those projectiles fell at the Nevatim Airbase and caused “only minor damage to infrastructure,” the spokesman said. He added that the drones launched by Iranian-backed militants in Iraq and Yemen all failed to reach Israeli territory. The only casualty was a shrapnel wound to a 10-year-old Bedouin Israeli girl who was hit while sleeping at her home in southern Israel.

Saturday’s attack came in response to an April 1 airstrike that killed seven Iranian military officers, including two senior commanders, at Tehran’s consulate in Damascus. Israel has vowed to “exact a price” from Iran for striking back.