How good is Israel's defense system

Israel's "life insurance": the "Iron Dome" missile defense system

Since the violence between Palestinians and Israelis escalated, hundreds of thousands of videos have been played on social networks that are supposed to show the effectiveness of the Israeli anti-missile defense system "Iron Dome". In particular, videos from the night from Tuesday to Wednesday showing the shelling of Tel Aviv: sirens wail, dozens of luminous spheres buzz through the air in front of the black night sky, then light up again brightly, explosion noises can be heard. And the danger to the population has been averted for the time being.

In the social networks, the "iron dome" is praised as the life insurance of the Israelis.

How does the "Iron Dome" missile defense system work?

A system consists of a radar unit and a control center that can detect approaching projectiles such as missiles after take-off and calculate their trajectory and target. It happens within seconds. It has to, because depending on the distance from the Gaza Strip, the Israelis only have 15 to 90 seconds to escape from an approaching missile.

The third element is missile launchers. There are three to four rockets per system, each with space for 20 rockets. A defense missile is only launched when it is clear that a projectile is aimed at an inhabited area. It is maneuverable in the air. The interceptor missile does not hit the other projectile directly, but explodes in its vicinity, destroying it. However, falling debris can still cause damage.

The systems are mobile and can be relocated. Ten of them are currently in use in Israel. According to the manufacturer, Israeli state defense company Rafael Defense Systems, a single battery can protect a medium-sized city. The system can intercept projectiles with a range of up to 70 kilometers. According to experts, 13 systems would be necessary to protect the entire country.

This launcher is near the city of Ashkelon, ten kilometers north of the Gaza Strip

Israel uses other systems to protect it. "Iron Dome" is aimed at short-range missiles.

How successful is the system?

The manufacturer states a success rate of 90 percent. The head of the Israeli missile defense organization, Moshe Patel, told the AFP news agency that the "iron dome" had intercepted over 2,400 projectiles in the past ten years up to January. The arms company Rafael speaks of more than 2500 successful kills.

"Any missile that was intercepted would have hit an inhabited area, potentially causing serious damage and claiming casualties," said the Israel Defense Forces website.

The anti-missiles remain maneuverable in the air

According to the Israeli army, more than 1,000 projectiles were fired at Israel during the current escalation, 200 of which are said to have fallen in the Gaza Strip itself. The radical Islamic Hamas seems to be banking on the strategy of launching whole volleys in quick succession and testing the "Iron Dome" or even pushing it to its limits.

What does it cost?

According to media reports, each shot from the battery costs around 66,000 euros. That is the reason why only projectiles should be intercepted that would hit an inhabited area.

The United States had financially supported the development of the system. In the meantime, the US itself has bought two of the Israeli defense systems.

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