THE HISTORY OF THE CREATION AND CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ISRAELI MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM "IRON DOME"
On May 10-12, Palestinian radicals fired more than 1,500 missiles into Israel, most of them being intercepted by the "Iron Dome" missile defense system. The history of the creation and characteristics of the "Iron Dome" system is in this article.
IRON DOME SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT HISTORY
Israel has created a four-tier missile defense system. At the bottom is the Iron Ray laser system, designed to destroy ultra-short-range missiles (up to 7 km; entered service in 2015). The Iron Dome system is on the second level. The third is David's Sling system, developed jointly with the American corporation Raytheon for the destruction of medium-range missiles (in service since 2017). The fourth level is the Hetz (Arrow) complexes, created jointly with the US Missile Defense Agency (in service since 2000) to counter long-range ballistic missiles (up to 3,000 km).
The Iron Dome system is designed to intercept short-range unguided missiles. Its development began in 2004 in connection with the shelling by radical Palestinian groups of southern Israeli cities with homemade Qassam rockets or Soviet-made rockets. The system was developed by Israel Aerospace Industries and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.
The Iron Dome tests were carried out in 2007-2010. In August 2009, the first Iron Dome battalion was formed. In March 2011, the system was put into service and in April of the same year, for the first time, it successfully intercepted a Grad missile launched from the Gaza Strip.
In 2014, Rafael demonstrated a sea-based version of the Iron Dome. According to media reports, the complexes can be deployed on Israeli Navy ships guarding gas platforms in the country's exclusive economic zone.
In 2020-2021, tests were carried out of an upgraded version of the system, which was able to intercept various unmanned aerial vehicles.
IRON DOME SYSTEM COST
Even during the development phase of the system, it was criticized for its high cost. Thus, the price of one Tamir missile is, according to various estimates, from $ 20,000 to $ 100,000, while one Qassam costs the Palestinian groups several hundred dollars. Already in 2009, some Israeli military analysts pointed out that the "Iron Dome" could "choke" if Palestinian groups began not single, but massive shelling.
The development and production costs of the system in 2007-2012 amounted to about $ 550 million. In addition, in 2011-2015, the United States allocated about $ 1 billion to Israel to create the system.
TACTICAL AND TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE IRON DOME
The "Iron Dome" is designed to destroy ballistic targets within a radius of up to 40 km with a technical range of the anti-missile missile up to 70 km.
The battery consists of three launchers equipped with 20 Tamir interceptor missiles, a fire control post, and a multipurpose radar station. The interceptor missile is 3 m long, 160 mm in diameter, and weighs 90 kg. The interceptor's speed significantly exceeds 300 m / s, developed by Kassam missiles. The time from the moment the target is detected to the launch of the interceptor missile is a few seconds.
A feature of the system is that it knocks down not all targets that are within reach, but only those that threaten residential buildings, infrastructure facilities, etc. This helps to reduce the cost of operating the complex.
DEPLOYMENT AND APPLICATION OF THE IRON DOME SYSTEM
The first battery of the complex was deployed on March 27, 2011, in the area of the city of Beersheba (in southern Israel, 35 km from the Gaza Strip) with a population of 300 thousand people, which at that time was subjected to rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip. The second was deployed on April 4 of the same year in the south of the country near the Gaza Strip, on September 1 the third battery covered the city of Ashdod (in the southern part of the country on the Mediterranean coast) from shelling. Later, new batteries were deployed in the area of the cities of Eilat, Haifa, Safed, Tel Aviv, and others.
The system showed high efficiency (it was possible to shoot down about 90% of the missiles fired by Palestinian extremists in the cities of southern Israel), however, with a salvo attack, its effectiveness decreased.
On March 9-14, 2012, during the aggravation of the situation, the Iron Dome air defense system intercepted 56 out of 300 missiles.
During Operation Cloud Pillar, on November 14-21, 2012, the Israeli air defense shot down 421 missiles out of 1506, the complex missed about 80 missiles (the rest fell in desert areas).
In July - August 2014, Israel conducted a military operation "Defense Line" in the Gaza Strip, the declared goal of which was to stop rocket attacks from the territory of the Gaza Strip. According to the Israeli army, during the operation, Palestinian radicals from the Gaza Strip fired 4.5 thousand missiles at the Jewish state, 3.6 thousand of them exploded in a desert area, the Iron Dome air defense system intercepted 735 missiles flying towards the populated points.
In 2015-2017, the intensity of shelling on Israeli territory was low (a total of 76 missiles, nine of which were intercepted by the missile defense system). In 2018, 200 of the 941 missiles fired were intercepted. In 2019, the system intercepted 480 out of about 1,300 missiles, in 2020 - 80 out of 168.
EXPORT OF IRON DOME SYSTEM
The media reported on the export supplies of the Iron Dome systems to Azerbaijan (the contract was signed in 2016), India (2017), Romania (2018), and the USA (the first battery was delivered in 2020).
The Iron Dome system is one of the best protective weapons invented by general Danny Gold and the minister of defense Amir Peretz who insisted to create the system while others were against his decision, today the Iron Dome system is the guarding angel of Israel and it's reducing the number of casualties every conflict and war