DEBKAfile reports that American experts are currently in Israel looking at the Israeli EW experience during the fighting with Hezbollah.
The American EW experts are interested in four areas. 1. The Israeli EW systems’ failure to block Hizballah’s command and communications and the links between the Lebanese command and the Syria-based Iranian headquarters. 2. How Iranian technicians helped Hizballah eavesdrop on Israel’s communications networks and mobile telephones, including Israeli soldiers’ conversations from inside Lebanon. 3. How Iranian EW installed in Lebanese army coastal radar stations blocked the Barak anti-missile missiles aboard Israeli warships, allowing Hizballah to hit the Israeli corvette Hanith. 4. Why Israeli EW was unable to jam the military systems at the Iranian embassy in Beirut, which hosted the underground war room out of which Hassan Nasrallah and his top commanders, including Imad Mughniyeh, functioned.
Until the watershed date of July 12, 2006, when the Hizballah triggered the Lebanon War, Israel was accounted an important world power in the development of electronic warfare systems — so much so that a symbiotic relationship evolved for the research and development of many US and Israeli electronic warfare systems, in which a mix of complementary American and Israeli devices and methods were invested.
In combat against Hizballah, both were not only found wanting, but had been actively neutralized, so that none performed the functions for which they were designed. This poses both the US and Israel with a serious problem in a further round of the Lebanon war and any military clash with Iran.
DEBKAfile’s military sources add: Both intelligence services underestimated the tremendous effort Iran invested in state of the art electronic warfare gadgetry designed to disable American military operations in Iraq and IDF functions in Israel and Lebanon. Israel’s electronic warfare units were taken by surprise by the sophisticated protective mechanisms attached to Hizballah’s communications networks, which were discovered to be connected by optical fibers which are not susceptible to electronic jamming.
American and Israeli experts realize now that they overlooked the key feature of the naval exercise Iran staged in the Persian Gulf last April: Iran’s leap ahead in electronic warfare. They dismissed most the weapons systems as old-fashioned. But among them were the C-802 cruise missile and several electronic warfare systems, both of which turned up in the Lebanon war with deadly effect.