Game Changer: Iron Dome
The salvos of over 200 rockets and missiles this week from
were grimly familiar to Israelis. However, this time there was an important,
indeed critical, difference. Israel
The Gulf War of 1991 between
and the USA included the
launching of thirty-nine Scud tactical ballistic missiles from ,
aimed at Gush Dan, the Tel Aviv population center. Iraq
These were countered by US-provided and operated Patriot Missiles batteries.
military claimed a high effectiveness against Scuds at the time, but later
analysis gives figures as low as nine percent, with forty-five percent of the
158 Patriot launches being against debris or false targets. (Wikipedia) U.S.
Since the 2005 Israeli evacuation of Gush Katif/Gaza, an estimated five thousand rockets and missiles have been fired at Israeli population centers.
In the 2007 Second Lebanon War, the North of Israel was pounded by 3990 Hezbollah missiles resulting in the deaths of 43 Israeli civilians and the displacement of between 200-300,000 northern Israelis into central
During Operation Cast Lead (27 Dec 2008 - 18 Jan 2009), 571 rockets and 205 mortar shells landed in Israeli territory. Magen David Adom personnel treated and evacuated a total of 770 casualties: 4 fatalities, 4 severely wounded, 11 moderately and 167 lightly wounded. An additional 584 persons suffered from shock and anxiety syndrome.
Since the end of Operation Cast Lead, 672 rockets and 407 mortar shells had been fired into
(up until the new round of
attacks this past week). Israel
At a regional strategic level, a wide range of rockets and missiles are now aimed at Israeli targets, including from
and from .
Israeli sources have estimated around 30,000 such missiles are in the hands of Hamas,
Hezbollah and other terror organizations. Lebanon
The Iron Dome mobile anti-missile defence system, has been developed by Rafael Ltd in double-quick time. In traditional Israeli style, time-to-delivery was slashed to just three years (such an advanced system would typically take a decade to develop, test, and field).
The level of sophistication to take down in-flight short range missiles and rockets is truly remarkable.
Imagine trying to shoot down a bullet, with a bullet.
The advent of the Iron Dome, and its impressive performance in this round of missile attacks, effectively neutralizes the shot and medium range Surface to Surface missile threat from Gaza and
(The Iranian long range missile threat is already countered by the anti ballistic missile Arrow 2 and new Arrow 3 missile systems developed by Israel Aerospace Industries - although these have never been used operationally.)
With a reported 90% direct hits on incoming projectiles – the Iron Dome is a regional game changer.