The Iron Dome

Hamas has been firing rockets and missiles into Israel, sparking Israeli retaliation.  The two sides have agreed to a cease fire.   Israel managed to shoot down virtually all of rockets thanks to a new anti-missile system called “Iron Dome.”  Based on American technology, this is the most successful technology to defend against missiles ever devised.  From Slate’s Sarah Tory:

The debut of Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense shield has added a new element to the conflict, one that military officials are calling a “game-changer.” Why is Iron Dome such a significant addition to Israel’s military arsenal?

Iron Dome actually works. Israeli officials are claiming that the shield is destroying 90 percent of missiles and rockets it aims at that have been fired into southern Israel by Hamas. This level of success is unprecedented compared with older missile defense systems such as the American-made Patriot model used during the 1991 Gulf War. Israelis have almost always suffered far fewer casualties than Palestinians have, but Iron Dome has made that disparity even larger. As of Monday, Israel has reported three casualties, all of which occurred during a temporary malfunction in the missile-defense system.

The missile-defense system can detect rocket launches and then determine the projectiles’ flight paths. Iron Dome intercepts rocket or artillery shells only if they are headed for populated areas or sensitive targets; the others it allows to land. After pinpointing a rocket for destruction, Iron Dome fires a warhead that destroys the rocket within seconds. Currently, five Iron Dome systems are deployed in Israel. Most are located in the south, near Gaza, and each operates with a 45-mile radius.

Israeli officials point out that Iron Dome saves money despite the fact that the interceptors cost up to $100,000 each. The cost of rebuilding a neighborhood destroyed by a rocket attack—not to mention people wounded and lives lost—would be far greater than the cost of the interceptor. In addition, the system buys Israel time, allowing it to plan out an appropriate response without the political pressure that would be generated by hundreds of potential deaths. Experts have called Iron Dome’s success a crucial factor in deterring Israel from launching a ground assault on Gaza.

via Israel Iron Dome defense: How has missile defense changed battle in Gaza – Slate Magazine.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://www.aclutteredmind.org Kevin Sorensen

    I’m curious if the Palestinians will truly honor this cease fire? The close friends I have in Israel report that, in the past, there may actually be a cease fire, and yet a few missiles still come into border towns and cause damage. However, since the advent of the Iron Dome, I’m wondering if this might actually curb that? We can hope this would be the case.

  • http://www.aclutteredmind.org Kevin Sorensen

    I’m curious if the Palestinians will truly honor this cease fire? The close friends I have in Israel report that, in the past, there may actually be a cease fire, and yet a few missiles still come into border towns and cause damage. However, since the advent of the Iron Dome, I’m wondering if this might actually curb that? We can hope this would be the case.

  • Carl Vehse

    With the help of Iran and Russia the “ceasefire” is, as usual, a time for the Palestinians to rearm, especially with rockets designed by the suppliers to test out the Iron Dome’s weak points.

    Israel is, as usual, completely aware of this charade, along with their arms suppliers, many of whom send in their contributions on April 15. This will be a time for further improvements in the Iron Dome.

    It remains to be seen whether Israel, at some point, will decide to end the game.

  • Carl Vehse

    With the help of Iran and Russia the “ceasefire” is, as usual, a time for the Palestinians to rearm, especially with rockets designed by the suppliers to test out the Iron Dome’s weak points.

    Israel is, as usual, completely aware of this charade, along with their arms suppliers, many of whom send in their contributions on April 15. This will be a time for further improvements in the Iron Dome.

    It remains to be seen whether Israel, at some point, will decide to end the game.

  • Kirk

    @2

    And lose billions in hand-outs from the US? Never.

  • Kirk

    @2

    And lose billions in hand-outs from the US? Never.


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