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What is the Iron Dome of Israel and how does it work?



The ace of the Israeli army in the hole against the ongoing missile attacks of Palestinian fighters in Gaza is its praised Iron Dome air defense system.

“More than 1,050 missiles have been fired at Israel, and the Iron Dome has had an 85 to 90 percent interception rate, although the terrorist organization Hamas is trying to overcome the system,” Israeli Defense Forces spokesman Captain Ben Rosner said Wednesday.

Many of the missiles also failed to reach the Jewish state and instead crashed in Gaza, the army said.

The defense system was developed by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries, with US financial and technical support, to protect populated areas and critical assets from short-range air threats, the Washington Post reported.

In the foreground (left) at the Ashkelon refinery on May 12, 2021 is a battery for the Iron Dome air defense system, which was hit by Hamas missiles the day before in the southern Israeli city.
In the foreground (left) at the Ashkelon refinery on May 12, 2021 is a battery for the Iron Dome air defense system, which was hit by Hamas missiles the day before.
Jack Guez / AFP via Getty Images

It was first deployed in the southern city of Beersheva, about 25 miles off the Gaza Strip, to fight Soviet-designed Grad missiles fired from Palestinian territory, AFP reported.

Israel has 10 Iron Dome batteries, AFP reported.

Israel's Iron Dome air defense system intercepts a missile fired from the Gaza Strip on May 11, 2021.
Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system intercepts a missile fired from the Gaza Strip on May 11, 2021.
Jack Guez / AFP via Getty Images

Each battery has a radar detection and tracking system, a firing control system and three launchers for 20 missiles – each with a range between 2.5 and 44 miles.

Two separate systems – David’s Sling and Arrow – are designed against threats, including planes, drones, missiles and missiles, according to the Washington Post.

Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system in action against a missile fired from the Gaza Strip on May 11, 2021.
Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system in action against a missile fired from the Gaza Strip on May 11, 2021.
Abir Sultan / SIP

They immediately determine whether an incoming projectile is a threat and launch interceptors from mobile units or stationary launch sites only if the incoming missile risks hitting a settlement or vital infrastructure, according to the report.

The interceptors are designed to detonate the incoming missile in the air.

Light streaks are visible when the Israeli anti-missile system Iron Dome intercepts missiles over the city of Ashkelon on May 12, 2021.
Light streaks are visible when the Israeli anti-missile system Iron Dome intercepts missiles over the city of Ashkelon on May 12, 2021.
Amir Cohen / Reuters

Moshe Patel, head of the Israeli Defense Ministry’s Homa directorate, told the right-wing Israel Khayyom newspaper that the system has “the ability to counter cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles and more,” including “threats that don’t even exist.” in the field this time, but will probably appear in the coming months. “

The system has provided a semblance of normalcy for many residents of southern Israel amid numerous conflicts – despite the need to quickly seek shelter when sirens warn of impending attacks.

A rocket fired from the Gaza City, controlled by the Palestinian Hamas movement, has been intercepted by the Israeli air defense system
A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, controlled by the Palestinian Hamas movement, was intercepted by the Israeli Iron Dome air defense system on May 11, 2021.
Mahmoud Hamms / AFP via Getty Images

Michael Armstrong, an associate professor at Brock University who studied the effectiveness of the Iron Dome, wrote in 2019 for National Interest that “no missile defense system is completely reliable, especially against an evolving threat,” writes the Washington Post.

And some Israelis say the government relies too heavily on the Iron Dome and does not invest enough resources in other measures, including shelters, according to the Washington Post.

Citizens are hiding when Israel's Iron Dome air defense system intercepts a missile fired from the Gaza Strip.
Citizens are hiding when Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system intercepts a missile fired from the Gaza Strip.
Jack Guez / AFP via Getty Images

“The house is unprotected and it is not realistic to reach the shelters in the neighborhood, especially when the barrages are so continuous,” Ashkelon resident Guy Mann told Israeli army radio on Tuesday after his building was hit by a rocket.

“We can only rely on the Iron Dome and luck,” he said.


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