Over 3,150 rockets launched Hamas, a Palestinian militant group from Gaza to southern and central Israel Last week we targeted both densely populated and border villages in Israel. According to Israeli authorities, about 90% of these Hamas rockets are intercepted by the Israeli Iron Dome missile defense system.
Bystander videos record the operation of the missile defense system. A curved line of light, much like a firecracker, encounters a rocket in the middle of its trajectory. After a few seconds, a bright flash and a big boom signal the rocket’s interception. Shrapnel falls to the ground.
Israeli officials believe that Iron Dome has saved the lives of thousands of civilians. The recent Hamas rocket fire killed 12 people, including two children, they say. Without similar protection, the victims would be much higher, with at least 213 people killed in Israeli airstrikes, including 61 children, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health.
When Iron Dome technology was declared operational in 2011, it was considered the “game changer” of modern warfare.
According to the Israeli Ministry of Defense, targeting systems use radar and advanced tracking technology to track the trajectory of incoming projectiles and determine if they pose a threat to major population centers. After measuring the speed and direction of the rocket, an intercepting Iron Dome missile is launched with the aim of exploding the projectile in the air.
It’s like “a bullet that shoots down another bullet”, the latter half of the “60 minutes” correspondent Bob Simon. Reported in 2013.. Apply the laws of physics to short-range rockets traveling between 500 and 1,000 mph.
According to the Israelis, the “battery” constellation of Iron Dome constitutes the defense system. Each battery has its own radar, command and control center, and launcher that launches Tamil interceptor missiles.
Currently, there are 10 Iron Dome batteries deployed throughout Israel, each battery intended to protect 60 square miles.
According to Raytheon, a US defense contractor that produces up to 70% of Iron Dome’s interceptor components, each battery has three launchers, each equipped with up to 20 Tamir interceptor missiles.
The Iron Dome was developed with the support of the Obama administration at the time and with the support of hundreds of millions of dollars from the US government, according to a Congressional report tracking US foreign aid to Israel.
US assistance to the project continued beyond its development, especially as Israeli defense authorities made technical upgrades to the system. For example, in 2014, during the intensification of violence between Israel and Hamas, the House and Senate approved a $ 225 million bill to replenish Iron Dome interceptors.
Shooting down thousands of missiles quickly becomes an expensive proposal. According to Israel’s prominent think tank, the National Security Institute, interceptor missiles cost about $ 40,000 to $ 50,000.
The US government still provides important financial support. A Congressional Research Service report outlines the support the United States has provided to the history of defense systems as of November 2020. “$ 1.6 billion to Israel for Iron Dome batteries, interceptors, co-production costs, and general maintenance.”
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