April 21, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel to Support Ukraine with Missile Warning System

April 21, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel to Support Ukraine with Missile Warning System

Latest Developments

Israel plans to test an early warning system in Kyiv next month that would alert Ukrainians of incoming Russian missiles, media outlets reported on April 20. The system, which resembles one deployed in Israel, will not include the ability to intercept rockets. Still, the system represents an increased Israeli role in providing Kyiv needed support to help defend Ukraine against Russian aggression. “The civilian early warning system, which will connect to the Ukrainian military radar and air defense network, can send faster and more specific alerts to Ukrainian civilians in the areas that are targeted,” Axios reported.

Expert Analysis

“This Israeli assistance will save Ukrainian lives, helping Kyiv more effectively respond to attacks by invading Russian forces, many of which employ Iranian drones. It is noteworthy and laudable that Israel is providing this assistance even as it confronts unprecedented threats at home from Tehran and its terror proxies. This is yet another example of Israeli technology helping to make the United States and its partners more secure.” — Bradley Bowman, Senior Director of FDD’s Center on Military and Political Power

Israel’s Aid to Ukraine

Israel has taken in thousands of Ukrainian war refugees, struck at Iran’s ability to arm Russian President Vladimir Putin with drones and missiles, and provided Ukraine with valuable intelligence, armored ambulances, and other humanitarian aid. However, Israel has refrained from providing Ukraine with offensive weaponry and the Iron Dome missile defense system.

Avoiding Leakage to Iran

Israel is concerned that weapons sent to Ukraine could end up in Iranian hands. While this risk could be mitigated in part by placing advanced systems such as Iron Dome far from the frontline, some may point to Russia’s August 2022 flight to Tehran carrying Western weapons as evidence that such concerns are not far-fetched. Tehran and its terror proxies would undoubtedly use information about Iron Dome to develop capabilities to circumvent its defenses, reducing the system’s effectiveness and increasing the lethality of Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad in future conflicts with Israel.

Israel’s Insufficient Domestic Missile Defense Capacity

At present, Israel lacks sufficient missile defense capacity to defend against a large-scale attack from Lebanon-based Hezbollah. The Iranian terrorist proxy wields an estimated 2,000 unmanned aerial vehicles and 130,000-150,000 surface-to-surface rockets and missiles, a growing number of which are precision-guided munitions. It is not surprising that a country confronting such a threat is reluctant to send its finite missile defenses elsewhere.

Avoid Overconfidence When It Comes to Middle East Air and Missile Defense,” by Ryan Brobst and Bradley Bowman

Israel Sends First Senior Official to Kyiv Since 2022 Invasion,” FDD Flash Brief

Ukraine should back Israel for fighting Iran-backed Palestinian terror,” by Mark Dubowitz

Israeli Weapons Sent to Ukraine Could End Up in Iran,” FDD Flash Brief


Iran Iran Global Threat Network Israel Military and Political Power Russia Ukraine