Game Changer: Israel’s Iron Dome Missile Defense System

Rick Moran is blog editor of The American Thinker, and Chicago editor of PJ Media.His personal blog is Right Wing Nuthouse.


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Palestinian terrorists fired more than 160 rockets at dozens of civilian targets from Friday through Sunday, injuring three Israeli citizens and causing extensive damage. The escalated rocket attacks were in apparent retaliation for an Israeli strike against one of the major commanders of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), which was planning terrorist attacks by infiltrating through the Sinai. The commander, Zuhair al-Qaissi, also planned and carried out attacks through the Sinai last August that killed eight Israelis. Three other terrorists were killed in the strike which precipitated a blizzard of rocket fire from the PRC that struck several towns in southern Israel. The IDF responded with airstrikes against rocket launching sites and terrorist camps.

It could have been worse for the Israelis, except their missile defense system, known as “Iron Dome,” intercepted 90% of the rockets that were targeted. Israeli-designed and built in Israel by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, Iron Dome promises to be a “game changer” according to some analysts, once it is fully deployed across the southern border.

Late Sunday, it was reported that Israel had informed Egypt that it would halt air strikes at midnight. Hamas has also agreed to a cease fire, although the PRC has not indicated its agreement to halt the barrage. It hardly matters. Although the barrage was carried out by the Popular Resistance Committees and another terror group, the Palestinian branch of Islamic Jihad, the Israelis believe that Hamas enables the attacks, or at best, refuses to prevent them.

Iron Dome has an unconventional history. It took only three years from design to deployment — a rarity among complex weapons systems. The tracking system was developed by Elta, an Israeli defense company while the computer software was created by the Israeli firm Prest Systems. The interceptor rocket was built by Rafael.

It is a marvel of technology and can actually determine if a rocket is a threat to a population center, or whether it will land harmlessly in an open field. CNN describes the system:

First deployed in April 2011, the Iron Dome system targets incoming rockets it identifies as possible threats to city centers and fires an interceptor missile to destroy them in mid-air. Each battery is equipped with an interception management center to calculate the expected location of impact, and to prioritize targets according to pre-defined targets. The battery also has firing-control radar used to identify targets, and a portable missile launcher.

This was the first serious battlefield test of Iron Dome and it passed with flying colors. The Jerusalem Post reports that Iron Dome intercepted a total of 27 rockets for a 90% success rate. It is currently deployed around three of the larger cities in the south: Ashdod, Ashkelon, Beersheba. The system is entirely mobile and it is expected that once all batteries are deployed, Israel will potentially be able to intercept any missile fired from Gaza.

“The most important question is how would the Iron Dome affect the decisions of Hamas leaders and their Iranian supporters,” said Dore Gold, Israeli Ambassador to the United States. “While Hamas rockets are aimed primarily to target civilians and terrorize the Israeli home front, a secondary and just important aim is to hit strategic sites in the future,” he added. Gold also pointed out that by eliminating the terrorists’ ability to hit strategic targets, it will force them to re-think what kinds of rockets they will have to purchase in the future.

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  • Henry

    Hit them harder each time.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpgiYe6LToc Roger

      The only thing the muslim militants understand is overwhelming force, since they have to consider it may be 'the will of allah'.

  • Grantmann

    The response to the rocket barrage from the terrorists by the Israeli air force has received the usual blanket coverage in the media, highlighting every Palestinian civilian casualty while downplaying — or not even mentioning — the rain of rockets that is constantly hurled at the Jewish state. Not reported in the media were the 45 separate rocket attacks by the terrorists just since January 1 of this year. That number does not include the dozens of attacks carried out over the last three days.

    Media bias? What media bias?

  • David

    The same media people that will cringe and beg for mercy when their future next-door neighbors will be jihadists bent on slitting their throats.
    Go ahead media…protect the Jew-hating aggressors and flash contempt against big bad Israel. Soon you will be crying hopelessly for Jewish protection against these vile, dust-eating West-haters. Your biased stupidity will catch up on you and show you for the gutless cowards you are.
    What all Jew-haters haven't got a clue about is that the real "Iron Dome" of Israel is God Almighty, who will always give Israel the upper hand of His might, in accordance with His plan for His beloved people.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpgiYe6LToc Roger

      Don't you wonder if the reporting from Daniel Pearl would have been different than the other liberal journalists?

    • Alex

      Yes, God reveals Himself in History, and will show the nations that he is the Great I Am through Israel.

  • StephenD

    Push them out of the land each time a rocket is fired. When they are running for their lives; when their concern must be where their next meal is coming from they'll be less likely to spend time hurling bombs and more time scavenging for food. They ask for war by attacking. Israel should not hesitate.

    • pyeatte

      Yes, when Muslims fire rockets into Israel, start pushing the border South a quarter of a mile or so. Squeeze them out and into Egypt. Bulldoze Gaza into pebbles and turn it into farmland or a giant theme park.

    • Alex

      Stephen, in the next major war, the enemies of Israel will be driven out of Israel, to make wy for the return of the Jews brethren, the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. The time is drawing nigh.

  • DogWithoutSlippers

    There will only be peace when the Israeli forces bring down so much death and destruction on the muslims for them to realize that Allah is imaginary and his evilness has ruined their lives for the last 1400 years and also the lives of hundreds of million innocents! Allah will have to be totally abandoned for peace to reign!

    • Vermont Yid

      Would you be willing to make a guess as to just when that might happen? My guess is NEVER!

    • Alex

      Islam will surely be defeated, and the Arabs will come to know the true God f Israel, the King of the Universe, Hashem.

  • MikeWood

    Well I for one will be popping open the champagne to celebrate Israel's success.

    • Vermont Yid

      Speaking of popping champagne corks: When that phukin' S O B Jimmy Carter dies, I'll do the same thing I did the day his soul-mate Yasser Arafat died. That day I opened a nice bottle of champagne and toasted his death.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Palestinian terrorists fired more than 160 rockets at dozens of civilian targets from Friday through Sunday, injuring three Israeli citizens and causing extensive damage. The escalated rocket attacks were in apparent retaliation for an Israeli strike against one of the major commanders of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), which was planning terrorist attacks by infiltrating through the Sinai.

    Why do writers like this one always insist upon following the PC multicultural dictates of always mislabeling jihad as being terrorism? Is it because of the tyranny of the Left? One can only wonder.

    Anyway, Jihad is holy fighting in the cause of Allah against non-Muslim unbelievers to make Islam supreme and constitutes total warfare that employs both violent and non-violent means. While terrorism, on the other hand, can be for any number of political causes other than the cause of Allah and as its name implies always only involves violence.

    Hence, by conflating jihad, which is holy fighting in the cause of Allah against non-Muslim unbelievers to make Islam supreme and is total warfare that utilizes both violent and non-violent means, with terrorism, which can be for any number of political causes except for the cause of Allah and always only constitutes violence, it causes covert and deceptive non-violent varieties of jihad, such as mass Muslim immigration to the West for the purpose of infiltration and stealth demographic conquest, to be able to occur throughout the West today totally below the radar and completely uncontested and unopposed. Since if it isn't violent, then it isn't construed as being terrorism, and if it isn't construed as being terrorism, then it isn't contested and opposed.

    In addition, covert and deceptive non-violent jihad is employed against the West by the Islamic world astronomically far more prevalently and constitutes an exponentially far greater threat to the peace and security of the West relative to violent jihad. Yet, because jihad, which is violent and non-violent, is always conflated as being terrorism, which is always only violent, covert and deceptive non-violent jihad, because it is non-violent, covert, and deceptive by design, is never contested and opposed since it isn't violent.

    It also at the same time let's Islam off the hook, because terrorism isn't automatically associated with Islam, while jihad, on the other hand, which is holy fighting in the cause of Allah against non-Muslim unbelievers to make Islam supreme is always associated with Islam. However, per the dictates PC multiculturalism it is always nevertheless called terrorism instead of jihad.

    Furthermore, with respect to Israel, by conflating and mislabeling what is really violent jihad as being terrorism, it effectively deflects attention off of Islam and at the same time causes millions of people around the world to totally misconstrue the true nature of the conflict in Israel, which is really a permanent jihad of conquest being waged perpetually against the Jewish unbelievers in Israel by the Islamic world via their proxy, the so-called Palestinians.

    However, billions of people in the world fail to see the conflict in that light and instead see the conflict as being a tit and tat retaliatory conflict that involves terrorism emanating from both sides with Israel being the primary instigator, oppressor, and aggressor, and the biggest reason it is seen in that very incorrect light by the vast majority of people in the world today, is because per the dictates of PC multiculturalism what is really violent jihad in the cause of Allah against non-Muslim unbelievers to make Islam supreme, is always deliberately mischaracterized as being terrorism instead, and that conveniently covers up the true Islamic nature of the conflict.

    Hence, one of the biggest impediments to combating the scourge of Islam in the world today is the tyranny of the Left and the timid dhimmitude of journalist on the right like the writer that wrote this article.

    • maturin20

      The writer of this is not a journalist. A journalist goes and does investigative reporting. This is blogging. A blogger spews analyses and opinions without doing any due diligence. Blogging is not journalism.

      • stern

        and suddenly you're a truth-teller?

        Hey, here's an idea. If you don't like the articles here, go away. You won't be missed.

        • maturin20

          That's like saying if I don't like cancer or air pollution go away.

          • Western Canadian

            Actually, you are a cancer, and a major cause of air pollution. You may still go away..

          • maturin20

            That is very antisemitic! You are calling me a cancer! Hitler called the Jews a cancer.

    • Western Canadian

      Look, you pitiable, ignorant moron, you are the only creature on this planet actually stupid enough to swallow your pathetic jihad/terrorism swill, so why don’t you pack it in? It is obvious that you suffer from NPD, and are in serious need of treatment (not that it does much good in such a case), and that you have NOTHING to offer on this or any other board. You have made yourself look a fool, and been made to look a fool often enough that only someone as ill as you are could carry on, and not hide his/her face in shame.

      All anti-jihad groups have to be careful of who they allow as members/allies: The edl in england has to punt out the soccer louts, and all other groups have to remove those who shame or embarrass legitimate opposition to jihad and islam. FPM should punt this lout, to prevent his/her continued embarrassing the board and its members.

      Mo (may he roast in hell) himself disagrees with your pathetic imaginings

  • http://jc.does-it.net Geneww

    Would love to see the Israeli develope a method to turn the missles around and send them back to its origin. That way they haters would be bombing themselves.

    • jacob

      It did it already to the Russian missiles the Syrians (and perhaps with the help of Russian "technicians")
      were firing on Israeli aircraft from the BEKAA valley years ago, as witnessed by an American Air Force
      officer:
      Rockets turned around and went straight for the place they were launched from.

      This works fine on an electronically guided missile but not on a home built KASSAM rocket or GRAD
      type missile….

      But since the Israeli Defence Minister says Israelis can sleep freely under the protection of this IRON
      DOME device, just don't get far from shelters, Israel can allow HAMAS wasting its rockets but won't
      bother eliminating the source of the problem…..
      So be it…

  • stern

    Iron Dome is all very well, but consider the other results of the rocket barrage. Over a million Israelis spent the weekend in bomb shelters. Schools were closed (thank heavens – one rocket scored a direct hit on a school). People were traumatized – and all for what? Simply because they are are Jews.

    I do not understand how Israel can allow this open warfare to continue, even if Iron Dome does stop the worst effects of it. The barrage basically shuts down a huge portion of the country. It is time to put to an end – a complete and utter end – to the terror.

    • Alex

      The end to the terror is about to take place. The time is growing very close. Israel's enemies will be driven back.

  • jacob

    An old joke tells of a guy confiding to his best friend that any time he gets home from work, there is his
    wife and lover making love on the sofa…
    The friend asks why doesn't he divorce her but he answers that who would take care of their 7 children ?
    Every time they meet, he tells him there is no change in the sad situation…
    One day he seeks out the friend to tell him he has solved the situation :
    HE SOLD THE SOFA…..! ! ! !
    It allows HAMAS to fire at will on Israel as many rockets as it feels like because Israelis are protected
    by this IRON DOME which allegedly destroys 90% of the rockets….
    It still leaves 10% which, as fate might have it, could hit a school, a hospital and then what ?

    So in other words,with all their wisdom, bravery, etc,. ISRAEL IS CONTENT WITH JUST SELLING THE
    SOFA……but won't eliminate the source of the problem
    RIGHT ??????

    • WilliamJamesWard

      Jacob it must have crossed your mind that none of this could happen if Israel did not give away
      Gaza to the murderers for a firing platform into Israel. This was predicted as and outcome, it could
      only go this way yet how in the name of all that is Holy could the Israeli government set up it's
      destructive problem. It may be that when they sold the sofa they were asleep on it………..William

  • maturin20

    I was hard pressed to find a paragraph in this writing that did not weasel with passive construction, vague attributions, and speculation as to what the sides were thinking without any ACTUAL investigative reporting.

    • kentatwater

      Straw man. The only one claiming that this report was ever intended to qualify as "investigative" journalism, is you.

      As to not caring for the verbiage…quelle surprise. The report does not condemn Israel or Jews.

  • GypsyTyger

    Remember how the left ridiculed Ronald Reagan when he advocated research for missile defense? And here Israel is putting it into practice. Chalk up one more instance where Ronbo was ahead of the pack.

    • kentatwater

      Word.

  • artcohn

    The Iron Dome system would be a great fit for U.S. aircraft carriers. Iran has threatened to destroy by missile attack U.S. carriers that enter the Strait of Hormuz.. A carrier is a very expensive item with a large compliment of sailors. It should be veryx cost effective to have the Iron Dome on board. The U.S. partially paid for the development of the system. America should buy the system for its carriers.

  • Bamaguje

    Kudos to IDF for this laudable achievement.

    But how will the Iron dome anti-missle system fair against longer range missles from Iran which has been threatening to wipe Israel ‘off the map?’

    This is particularly important if Israel takes out Iranian nuclear facilities, and Iran launches retaliatory missile counter-attacks.

    • stern

      Israel has other anti-missile options. Iron Dome was developed specifically for the short range rockets coming out of Gaza, and so would not be appropriate to take out Iranian missiles. But rest assured, Iran won't find it easy to fire its rockets into Israel.

      • Bamaguje

        Saddam fired Scud missles at Israel during the first Gulf war.

    • pyeatte

      There are two other systems in development, one mid-range and one long-range to take care of threats from Iran.

  • Thomas J Smith

    Missle Defense does not work, how many times do we have to repeat that this is settled science. Why must you push this nonsense.

    • pyeatte

      You seem to have a disconnect with reality.

  • visitor

    According to Wikipedia: In May 2010, the White House announced that U.S. President Barack Obama would seek $205 million from U.S. Congress in his 2011 budget, to spur the production and deployment of additional Iron Dome batteries. White House spokesman Tommy Vietor stated, "The president recognizes the threat missiles and rockets fired by Hamas and Hezbollah pose to Israelis, and has therefore decided to seek funding from Congress to support the production of Israel's short range rocket defense system called Iron Dome."

    Yes, that's $205 million authorized by the "anti-Israel" president you're always hollering about. Funny, isn't it? He's the same "pro-Islamic" slacker who ordered the killing of Osama bin Laden and many other leaders and cadres of al-Qaida. But that doesn't stop you buys either. None so blind as those who will not see.

  • kentatwater

    straw man

    It's not my fault that you use this technique at every turn, while accusing others of same. It's much like how you accuse others of anti-Semitism.

    you are a confessed hater of verbiage

    Please provide a link to said confession. I am actually a lover of words; so much so, in fact, I don't care to see them wasted.

    I am glad you also confirm that this article is in no way investigative journalism.

    I never said that, either. Reading comprehension does not appear to be a strong suit of yours.

    • maturin20

      It is very antisemitic to say it is not your fault. Everyone knows HAMAS perfected the rhetoric of saying it is not their fault and blaming Israel.

      • kentatwater

        I'm sure many members of Hamas also eat hummus. I suppose that means eating hummus is anti-Semitic.

        • maturin20

          Your feeble attempts to make hummus look harmless are shameless. Terrorists can extract the folate from chickpeas and reconstitute the iron to make casings for a dirty bomb. A very dirty bomb. Enabling terrorists is antisemitic.

          • kentatwater

            Seems like a lot of trouble, when the dried chick peas themselves could be used as projectiles. Those things are damn hard.

          • maturin20

            Not as hard as Iron Dome!

          • kentatwater

            And a good thing, too!

          • maturin20

            Good for the soil, chickpeas. Nitrogen fixation and all that.

          • kentatwater

            You certainly seem to know from fixations.

  • pyeatte

    The reason Israel got the system developed and deployed so fast is because they had a "sense of urgency". Amazing what can be achieved when your back is against the wall. At least we helped fund it, good.

  • Flowerknife_us

    One keeps shooting a number of cheap rockets everyday untill the Iron Dome Batteries are empty or near so. then one launches all they wish.

  • ebonystone

    When Reagan proposed something like this to protect the U.S. the Left replied with ridicule and called his idea Star Wars.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Only when Israel takes all the land promised to Abraham will there be true peace with the flowing
    of milk and honey, until then the land will flow with one problem after another…………..William

  • kenaan

    If the Israelis really believe in Almighty then they should be quite sure that their oppression on the Palestinian people(an implementation of fantasy doctrines of their bible) shall come to an end.Israel is nothing but a tall building on a loose sandy foundation- refer to what Israel did with his brother Is so – We are in the 21st century,who still believes in these fairy tales ,then a sacred promise with the land of honey and milk ,and making the people living on that land slaves to the sons of Israel.Because we believe in Allah ,Almighty we believe that when we are faithful to Allah we will be guided to obtain the means of victory.

    • stern

      And do you believe that your allah wants you to kill his own creations? If so, your allah is no true god.

    • JoJoJams

      Soooo, you're saying the Israeli's are following a fairy tale from their "holy book", but that your fairy tale from your "holy book" is true? Yep.. you're a muslim! Sorry, but Isaac is the inheritory, not Ishmael. And your "god" is not a god – he's a made up entity from the mind of mad mo. Further, the only ones "oppressing" the arab squatters are their own people – and their own religion. arab-israeli's have, by far, the highest standard of living compared to their bretheren in the islamic hell-hole nations. And even the "palestinians" (arab squatters) had a higher standard of living before Arafat launched his first intifada. If you want peace and prosperity – simply stop attacking Israel. Unfortuantely, islam is the problem – and it's adherents are brainwashed fools. Such as yourself.

    • David R

      The Satanic Bible identifies Allah as a powerful demon of high hierarchy. It's easy to understand that a sicko pervert and pedophile like Mohammed was very easy to influence by this powerful entity.
      Gullible fools like him are usually ostracized by society…but since he murdered and threatened all who opposed him, he quickly gained respect through fear and his followers fell into the same trap he did.
      Since Satan always devises lies and influences the weak-minded, this self-proclaimed illuminati Mohammed also fell into the trap of composing a counterfeit bible…the Koran, a hog-wash of stupid thoughts, declarations, spiced with many verses of hate and vengeance.
      Blind fools can only believe in a false useless god like Allah, and are easily led to think that this demonic entity will give them victory.
      Actually it's the real God of the Jews and Christians Mo and his followers hate…and no wonder, Satan can't get along with Him either.

  • http://www.casinogrinder.com/casino770/ Casino 770

    Since when Palestinians became terrorists?

    • David R

      Not all Muslims are terrorists, but just about all terrorists are Muslims. Figure that?

  • emptorpreempted

    The old-fashioned way, by bombing the crap out of the terrorists. This Iron Dome thing is absurd. Any other country would simply clean Gaza out.

  • Vermont Yid

    Obama isn't trying to win Jewish votes. After all, we're less than 2% of the US population. With that you don't win elections. What he wants, is for those Jews who are stupid enough, to donate $ to his campaign. I hope the azzhhole holds his breath waiting for my check to arrive.