THE IRON DOME AND HOW IT WORKS

Iron Dome

Iron Dome is Kippat Barzel in Hebrew. It is a form of warfare technology by Israel State. This special technology protects against incoming short-range weapons. The Iron Dome operates in all weather conditions. It uses radar to track rockets and can differentiate between those that are likely to hit built-up areas and those that are not.
It uses radars to detect and intercept short-range rockets, missiles and drones. The Iron Dome began operating in 2011. This was mostly in response to the 2006 war that ended with Hamas taking control of Gaza the following year.

ORIGIN OF THE IRON DOME

The Iron Dome is part of the Israeli military arsenal. It is an Israeli mobile all-weather air defense system which was developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries. It is believe to cost $50 million per battery and $100,000–150,000 per interception done by the system.
Iron Dome was developed after the 2006 conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. Hezbollah is a militant group based in southern Lebanon.
Hezbollah launched thousands of rockets into Israel, causing huge damage and killing dozens of citizens.
In response, Israel said it would develop a new missile defence shield.

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HOW THE IRON DOME SYSTEM WORKS

The technological system is designed specially. When threat is detected on the radar, information is immediately sent to a ‘battle management centre’. Here, the military personnel analyse it, anticipating its path and impact point, and decide which missile launcher to use to intercept it. Counter missiles are fired at the threat – or near it – so the shrapnel can neutralise it.
The Iron Dome reacts within a matter of seconds. It is manned 24 hours a day.
It intercepts and destroys short-range rockets and artillery shells fired from distances of 4 to 70 kilometres (2–43 mi) away and whose trajectory would take them to an Israeli populated area.


According to Sebastien Roblin, the Tamir interceptor travels at “2.5 times the speed of sound, guided by the ground-based radar. As the three-meter-long missiles close with the targeted projectile, their nose-mounted electro-optical sensor takes over to provide more precise terminal guidance. A proximity fuse detonates the missile’s thirty-five-pound fragmentation warhead once it enters range.

Iron Dome

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THE SPECIFICATION OF THE DOME

The Iron Dome is has a Mass of 90 kg (200 lb), the Length being 3 m (9 ft 10 in).
It has the Diameter as 160 mm (6.3 in). The Maximum speed is Mach 2.2.
The Iron Dome when launched carries Three/four launchers, each carrying 20 interceptors.

DOES THE IRON DOME HAVE A PERFECT SUCCESS RATE?

The technology is overcome by swarms of many missiles that exceed its capability to intercept them. This means that the machinery is likely to perform on this situation but not on a 100% score.
If number of attacking missiles are not much, then interceptors are available to counter them. The cost of each interception is high, while attacking rockets can be relatively inexpensive.
It is significantly less effective against very short-distance saturation strikes.
According to Ronen Bergman, in 2012, during Operation Pillar of Defense, Israel agreed to an early cease-fire “for a reason that has remained a closely guarded secret: The Iron Dome anti-missile defense system… had run out of ammunition.” Bergman says that as a result of the experience, Israel had tried to prepare larger stocks of interceptors for future rounds of fighting.

COUNTRIES THAT HAVE ACQUIRED THE DOME

In 2016, Israel made the first sale to Azerbaijan. India and Romania have signed deals to buy the system.
Member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), including Qatar, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia, expressed interest in purchasing the Iron Dome.

In January 2019, the U.S. Army requested funding from Congress to procure two Iron Dome batteries. The $373 million deal would include 240 Tamir interceptor missiles, twelve launchers, and two radars and command trailers.
Israel resisted pressure to provide the Iron Dome to Ukraine, arguing that the training and infrastructure necessary for their use would take several years and that the country is too big for it to effectively stop Russian missiles. Israel is concerned they could fall into the hands of the Russians, who might share the technology with Iran.
In 2023, the U.S. Marine Corps announced plans to acquire three batteries worth of Iron Dome systems, including 44 launchers and 1,840 Tamir interceptors.

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