Israel emptied its smart bomb arsenal in under 2 weeks during 2006 war
TEL AVIV — The Israel Air Force is revising its policy on the
use of munitions against insurgency and low-signature targets.
The study was meant to learn the lessons of the war against Hizbullah in
mid-2006 when the air force conducted a reported 15,500 sorties and failed
to destroy the Iranian-backed militia's short-range rocket arsenal, Middle East Newsline reported.
two weeks, the air force depleted its smart munitions and most of its
general purpose bombs.
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"We were using smart weapons freely without any regard to our supplies,"
a senior officer said.
The air force study was meant to determine what weapons would be
required for low-signature and conventional warfare targets. Officials said
the air force would also seek to draft standards on collateral damage when
battling insurgents in an urban area.
"If we had destroyed Hizbullah headquarters on the first day of the war,
we would have killed the entire leadership," an official said. "Instead, we
used munitions meant to reduce collateral damage. We were condemned anyway
for attacking an urban area, and the leadership escaped to continue the
Officials said the air force has still not replenished its arsenal of
air-to-ground weapons in wake of the war, which ended in August 2006. In
April 2007, after a wait of eight months, the Bush administration approved
the sale of 3,500 MK-84 general-purpose bombs to Israel.
The air force study was also meant to determine the optimal use of the
Joint Direct Attack Munition, a smart bomb kit produced by Boeing. The 2006
war marked the first time Israeli F-15s and F-16 fighters deployed the JDAM
"There were lots of problems with JDAM and there were some major mishaps
that by luck did not cause great damage," an official said. "This weapon
requires lots of training and thought."