Cyprus wants the Iron Dome to replace Russian Buk and Tor SAMs

NICOSIA ($1=1.00 Euro) — The Cypriot edition of Kathimerini reported that Israel’s famous Iron Dome system may soon protect a key island in the Mediterranean Sea. Israeli authors are now also following the Cypriot source, highlighting the possibility of signing an agreement between the two countries.

USMC shot down several missiles over New Mexico using Iron Dome
Photo credit: IDF

But they show that Israeli authorities have not responded to information about a potential Cypriot deal for Iron Dome. At the same time, for example, “The Jerusalem Post” mentions other well-known examples of military cooperation between Israel and Cyprus. From purchases in Israel for the soldiers of the Cyprus National Guard to joint exercises. In the latter case, the “Chariots of Fire” maneuvers were abandoned in May of this year. Important from an Israeli perspective as it involves preparations for a potential defense against Hezbollah action.

According to the Cypriot journalist, the National Guard of Cyprus has long considered Israeli solutions in the field of air and missile defense. The impetus to work on the acquisition of the system came from military circles, and then met with a positive response from the Ministry of Defense and the government of Cyprus.

However, there is still considerable room for speculation regarding the possibility of a Cyprus Iron Dome contract, as the official websites of Israel and Cyprus remain silent.

Buk-M3 SAM in Ukraine: Mach 4.6, frag-HE warhead, 36 target channels
Photo: Wikipedia

At the same time, for the Cypriot National Guard, the key aspect was testing the capabilities of Israeli solutions in the field of combating unmanned aerial systems [UAS]. The implication is, of course, Turkish drones and their increasing role in the regional space every year.

This applies, of course, to the functioning of the Ankara-recognized Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [Northern Cyprus], but also more broadly, for example to maritime activities in the Cyprus region. Apart from the equipment issue, that is. the emergence of new Turkish bishops, it should be noted that the Cypriot authorities must be concerned about the growing tensions, especially around gas production in the Mediterranean Sea.

This brings them closer to other countries, including Israel, when it comes to defense matters. Especially since the Israeli side is also a key player in the field of gas production in the region and thus ensures its own security and defense interests.

Russian Tor-M1 missile system repulsed an attack of drones near Chelyabinsk
Photo credit: Wikipedia

Returning to the Cypriots themselves and their development of military cooperation with other regional partners and not only them, we can also point to the “Hercules 2022” exercises. Cypriot specialists cooperate in special operations with Egypt, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Greece.

However, the key aspect is the location of the island itself and its infrastructure, as well as the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus. Currently, Cyprus has Russian air defense systems 9K37M1 Buk M1-2 or 9K331 Tor-M1. Of course, apart from the recent purchases of a French Mistral and a previously purchased Italian Aspide.

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