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Israeli Air Force used Rampage missile to destroy Iranian S-300 site

The Israeli Air Force used the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Rampage long-range supersonic air-to-ground precision strike missile to destroy an S-300 radar system on a military base near the Iranian city of Isfahan on 19 April.

An opposition news outlet in Iran aired an image on Sunday that showed significant damage to a radar system close to the Natanz enrichment site following the Israeli air strike.

The retaliatory strike came after Tehran launched over 300 projectiles at Israel on 13 April, claiming that it was retaliating against an Israeli strike on its consulate in Syria which killed two generals and several other Iranian officers.

The satellite image published by Iran International showed the destroyed remains of an anti-aircraft mobile radar station. The ground around it was charred black. Before the alleged attack early on Friday, satellite images of the site showed the same “flap-lid” radar intact.

The radar was surrounded by an array of four Russian-made S-300 mobile anti-aircraft missile launchers and other vehicles related to the air defence system. However, imagery taken on Friday, hours after the attack, showed the missile launchers removed from the air defence system at the Eighth Shekari Air Base in Isfahan. In the photo released on Sunday, at least three of the missile launchers had apparently been returned.

The Natanz enrichment site, which is located underground and heavily fortified, has been the target of suspected Israeli sabotage attacks multiple times. However, the recent strike on the S-300 radar appears to be the first direct military attack by Israel in an area that is believed to house a significant portion of Iran’s nuclear production capability.

According to a report by The New York Times, the Rampage missile was able to evade Iran’s radar systems. Two unnamed Western officials cited by the newspaper said that the missile’s purpose was to demonstrate to Tehran that Israel has the capability to dodge and neutralize its defences.

Around the same time as the incident in Iran, Syria’s state-run news agency, SANA, reported that a missile strike was carried out by Israel, targeting a southern air defence unit and causing damage.

Israel has not yet commented on the strike, adhering to its strategy of ambiguity around foreign military actions.

Developed by IAI, Rampage is a precision strike weapon designed for long-range air-to-ground missions. It is designed for destroying well-protected targets such as communication and command centres, air force bases, maintenance centres, and infrastructure.

Rampage has a range of over 190 miles and can be used as a stand-alone system or via an avionic system and supports video transmission on RS-170 interface and wireless communication. Furthermore, it can operate in any weather conditions, day or night.

Neil Ritchie
Neil Ritchie
Neil Ritchie is the founder and editor of Neil is also the editor of other online publications covering military history, defence and security. He can be found on Twitter: @NeilRitchie86.

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