The arms race over the sea arena

Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza are stocking up on weapons that, in the event of a future war, would enable them to try and strike Israeli targets at sea, as well as ports and navy bases on the Israeli coastline.

Their weapons include some advanced surface-to-sea cruise missiles, and a growing number of ballistic rockets – some of them guided.

Navy missile ship. Credit: Israel Navy

The Israel Navy is watching these developments, and making preparations of its own. Its evolving defenses include installing systems on board missile ships, which give them the ability to detect, track, and shoot down a range of projectiles.

Hezbollah projectile launch

I provide an overview of this arms race in my recent article for, here.

In the article, I interviewed former Israel Navy chief, V.-Adm. (ret.) Eliezer Merum, who told me that beyond building up good defenses, the most important thing in this arms race is for Israel to be able to knock out the terrorist armies that fire on Israeli targets.

Even more importantly, he said, was the deterrence that is in place right now, and which is keeping things quiet.

“Hezbollah must know that if it dares fire a single missile at the IDF or at the Haifa port, we will shoot it down, but after that, Hezbollah will be hit in so many places, and so will Lebanon,” Marum said. “I do not suggest that they do this. [Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah] should know that Lebanon would turn into ruins. I am now a civilian, but current defense chiefs have said this.”


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