Four countries on the Arabian Peninsula—Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Oman—are gaining new missile-defense capabilities through the sale or deployment of TPY-2 missile-defense radars and Patriot missile batteries. The UAE has signed a contract for two batteries of Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) missiles, which can engage faster-moving enemy threats than can the Patriot. In addition, Aegis-equipped warships have been stationed nearby.
There could be an unknown in coalition strike-planning, however. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard's Qods Force has been supplying Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon with “increasingly sophisticated weapons, including a wide array of missiles and rockets that allow Hezbollah to launch weapons” at Israel, according to the CSIS.
There are some interesting omissions in the CSIS report, including cyberattack and network-invasion efforts and air-launched, anti-ballistic missile capabilities that have been developed by the U.S. and its allies.
The U.S. has demonstrated during Red Flag exercises the ability to send airborne-generated databeams loaded with malicious algorithms into enemy air defense networks to see what the enemy sensors see, take control of networks as system managers, and invade mobile missile launchers through their wireless command and control links.
In addition, Raytheon has been developing long-range variants of its AIM-120 air-to-air missile that can serve as interceptors of ballistic missiles and even low-flying satellites. The company has also launched a program to design electronics-disabling, high-power microwave warheads for most of its air-launched missile programs.
The CSIS report, in a section on ballistic missile defense systems that can protect against weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems, has an intriguing reference to “modern-technology combat aircraft that can be launched within a very short window of time to block any first-wave attack.”
Whatever the attack includes, its predictable effectiveness “will give the U.S. strike force the freedom . . . to conduct a sustained campaign of strikes over a few days,” the CSIS report says.