Saturday, April 16, 2011

Iron Dome a success

America's got her Iron Man (totally fiction) BUT Israel's got the REAL thing: the Iron Dome - that's what Israel's missile shield is called.

Iron Dome (Hebrew: כיפת ברזל‎) is a mobile air defense system in development by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems designed to intercept short-range rockets and artillery shells. The system was created as a defensive countermeasure to the rocket threat against Israel's civilian population on its northern and southern borders, and was declared operational and initially deployed in the first quarter of 2011.

On April 7, 2011, the system successfully intercepted a Grad rocket launched from Gaza, marking the first time in history a short-range rocket was ever intercepted. Immediately afterwards, an IAF aircraft targeted the squad who fired the rocket and confirmed a hit. Later that day, the IDF stressed that the system, though operational, is still under evaluation. On April 8 the system again successfully intercepted 4 additional rockets.

At first sight, this engagement by the Iron Dome system appears to be a game-changer in the struggle between the Israelis and armed Palestinian groups in Gaza. The Israelis have tried various means, ranging from air strikes to a full-scale ground operation to re-enter the Gaza Strip, but none of these efforts have permanently halted the rocket fire. Iron Dome represents a different approach to the missile threat.

Up until Iron Dome, the public felt completely helpless in the face of reports that hostile groups had accumulated thousands of rockets along Israel's northern and southern borders. The anti-missile missile has now intercepted eight out of nine rockets, indicating that the interception rate for missiles, including Scuds and Shahabs, will be 90 percent to 100 percent. The public can live with the small uncertainty this leaves.


Morgan said...

Israel seems to always have cutting-edge military technology, and they need it. They are constantly threatened by those around them, and without the latest and greatest military devices, their days would be numbered. A strong defense system is crucial to the survival of Israel.

montejo said...

It's cutting-edge technology, but it is expensive to use. Every interceptor costs about $50,000. The Palestinians can impose these costs on Israel each time they fire a rocket at a town.

For my take on Israel's rocket problem, see