Iron Dome Foils 90 Percent of Missiles
“Israeli officials say the $200 million “Iron Dome” has performed beyond all expectations, raising hopes the military has finally found a way to rob Hamas militants of their most potent weapon: the short-range rockets that have made life miserable for large swaths of the population over the past decade.”
Updated 04/1/11 Post: Read More>>>>
The Iron Dome system has intercepted 90 percent of missile attacks on urban centers during the latest rocket bombardment from Gaza.
TROPHY – IRON DOME
The ASPRO-A (Trophy) active protection system developed by the Israeli RAFAEL Armament Development Authority rapidly detects and tracks any anti-tank threat, classifies it, estimates the optimal intercept point in space and finally neutralizes it away from the platform using a countermeasure. The threat detection and warning subsystem consists of several sensors, including search radar with four flat-panel antennas, located around the protected vehicle, to provide full hemispherical coverage. The neutralization process will take place only if the threat is about to hit the platform.
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DOME DEFENSIVE PROTECTION GET THE FULL STORY
See the reports of actual in service activity of the Iron Dome.
Implemented Iron Dome
Iron Dome: Operational Deployment in Southern Israel
Iron Dome anti-missile battery was deployed in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon. An initial battery was deployed last week in the southern city of Be’er Sheva.
The Iron Dome active defense system’s recent deployment comes as a response to the recent barrage of Grad missiles, Qassam rockets, and mortar shells fired from the Gaza Strip which hit Israel, injuring civilians and terrorizing thousands.
The Iron Dome system will intercept such rockets before they hit inside Israeli territory. Currently, the Israeli Air Force is testing the system’s effectiveness after being deployed in the field as a final stage before being put to operational use. The Iron Dome will provide part of the solution to rocket fire targeting southern communities, and it will be mobile, allowing the system to rotate among cities.
The Iron Dome system began operating in early 2011, initially deployed at air force bases in southern Israel. It was designated to be set up in other areas, such as the town of Sderot, during significant escalations along the Gaza border.
- On July 19, 2010 Israel’s Defense Ministry announced that the system was ready for operational deployment in November. The system was to be initially placed at Sderot, near the Gaza Strip.
- In March 2011, the Israeli military said that the first deployed system, near Beer Sheva, was operational. In April, another system was deployed near Ashkelon.
- On April 7, 2011, after deployment as an “operational experiment” on April 3, the Iron Dome system in the area of Ashkelon successfully intercepted a Grad rocket fired at the city, the first time a short-range rocket fired from Gaza had been intercepted. According to reports from the area, the interception could be seen in Israeli towns near northern Gaza.
- Immediately afterwards an IAF aircraft successfully attacked the squad that had fired the rocket. Later that day the IDF stressed that the system, though operational, was still under evaluation.
- On April 8 the system successfully intercepted another four rockets.
- On April 12 the IDF announced it would accelerate the introduction of a third Iron Dome battery. According to Haaretz, IDF officials indicated that the security establishment intended to ensure that the third battery would become available in six months, instead of the expected 18 months. According to the new plan, launchers from existing systems would be combined with other components that had already been manufactured in order to speed up the battery’s production. In that way, the first operational Iron Dome battalion would come into being within six months, with batteries that could be deployed in the south or in other arenas.
- Also according to Haaretz, the IDF was to finalize its long-term Iron Dome acquisition program – nicknamed “Halamish” – within a few months (from April 2011), which would indicate the final number of systems to be introduced into the military. Israel Air Force officials estimated the number of Iron Dome systems needed to cover threatened areas at thirteen.
- According to Meir Elran, a scholar at the Institute of National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, Israel would need a total of 20 batteries to provide adequate defense for its borders with Gaza and Lebanon. Such a deployment would require financial assistance from the United States, but he said that even in the original limited form, officially designated a trial period, the system was important.
- On 5 August 2011 the IDF redeployed the Iron Dome system near Ashkelon following days of heightened rocket fire from Gaza into Israel. The deployment came a day after Ashkelon mayor Benny Vaknin sent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak a letter askng them to redeploy the system.
- On 18 August 2011 four rockets were fired from Gaza at Ashkelon. The system determined that two were a threat and intercepted them, ignoring the other two which were directed at non-populated areas. No injuries or damage were reported. Defense officials said that Iron Dome would be re-deployed in Beersheba.
- On 20 August 2011, while engaging with a volley of seven rockets fired almost simultaneously at Be’er Sheva from Gaza, one was not intercepted by the defense system, exploding in a residential area and killing Yossi Shushan. Brig. Gen. Doron Gavish, commander of the IAF’s Air Defense Corps, said on the following day that “we said in advance that this wasn’t a hermetic system,” adding that the air defense units were learning on the fly and improving the performance of Iron Dome while operating it. “This is the first system of its kind anywhere in the world; it is in its first operational test; and we’ve already intercepted a large number of rockets targeting Israeli communities, saving many civilian lives,” Gavish said.
- On 21 August 2011 Ynetnews reported that the success of the Iron Dome system against Gazan rocket fire had southern city mayors battling over the right to be the next to have it deployed in their area. The IDF stressed that “no system can offer airtight protection” and that the system positioned in Ashkelon was incapable of extending its defense to Ashdod, but this did not stop the mayors from pressuring the Defense Ministry and the IDF to position Iron Dome batteries within their city limits. Ashdod, Ofakim, Netivot, Beersheba and Ashkelon have all pursued the system, but the IDF had only two batteries available.
- Also according to the report, Rafael was set to deliver a third battery no later than October 2011[dated info]. The defense establishment had decided to cover Beersheba and Ashkelon first, as they have a tangible risk of rocket fire. Three additional Iron Dome batteries are set to be supplied throughout 2012, at which time the IDF will be able to offer other southern communities better protection. Israel’s north and center would have to remain unprotected.
- On the same day, the Jerusalem Post reported that Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced that a third Iron Dome battery would be installed in the region “within weeks”, and estimated that nine more batteries would be positioned within the next two years.
- In attacks shortly before, the Iron Dome system had successfully intercepted about 85% of the rockets[clarification needed] launched at Israel from Gaza.
- On 23 August 2011 Globes reported that Rafael would invest tens of millions of shekels in the following months to open a second production line for the Iron Dome’s Tamir interceptor missiles. Future operational needs, as well as the plan to build two more Iron Dome batteries by the end of the year, necessitated the increase of missile production.
- On 31 August 2011 the IAF deployed a third Iron Dome battery outside Ashdod, two days after Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that it would take an additional 10 days for it to be delivered. Barak praised the IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, the IAF Air Defense Division and the security establishment for beating the deadline and beginning the deployment before the opening of the school year.
- On 1 December 2011 Brig. Gen. Gavish said that a fourth battery of the system would be deployed in the “coming months”. He spoke to the Jerusalem Post ahead of the Air Defense Division’s largest-ever draft of soldiers needed to fill the ranks of its increasing number of units and battalions. “The numbers will continue to grow and another battery will become operational in the beginning of the year,” he said.
- On 8 December, “outstanding” officer Capt. Roytal Ozen began to command the battery’s unit in preparation for its deployment, the first woman to be in charge of the system.
- On 6 December 2011 Matan Vilnai, the Israeli Minister of Home Front Defense, said that the Defense Ministry is considering a permanent deployment of an Iron Dome battery in the Haifa Port to protect the oil refineries there against future Hezbollah rocket attacks. “The continued work of the oil refineries is critical for the Israeli economy during a time of war,” he said. During the Second Lebanon War in 2006, a number of Katyusha rockets struck Haifa but did not hit the refineries. A direct hit on one of the refineries may cause numerous casualties as a result of leakage of dangerous chemical substances. The port is also the site of a chemical terminal that includes containers of ammonia and ethylene gas.
- On 30 December 2011 the Jerusalem Post reported that a performance analysis it had obtained shows that Iron Dome was successful in downing rockets from Gaza 75% of the times it fired. It said two interceptors are usually fired at each rocket. In April 2011, for example, the system succeeded in intercepting 8 of 10 rockets; in August 22 of 28, and in October 3 of 9. Following the October violence, the IDF conducted an inquiry into the Iron Dome’s performance and discovered that a radar failure caused some of the interceptors to miss their targets, a problem since corrected. An officer told the Post that “seventy-five percent is impressive, but we would still like to see it perform better.”
- On 10 March 2012 the “Jerusalem Post” reported that the performance of Iron Dome has improved to over 90%, as it had successfully shot down a total of 27 rockets over the cities of Ashdod, Ashkelon, Beersheba. The system allowed the remaining rockets to continue flight as they were heading towards unpopulated fields.
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