As with all industries, one, like the military industry, has gained momentum thanks to the advancement of technology. One example is the Iron Dome, backed by the US with $200 million. Rafael Advanced Defence Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries joined forces to build this advanced air defense system. It can intercept any incoming missile launched between 4 to 90 km distance. However, experts believe this range expanded over time. Israel claims that this air defense system can successfully intercept 90% of incoming projectiles.
How Iron Dome works
The Iron Dome can be broken down into three parts. The first part is a detection and tracking radar system that detects incoming missiles’ speed and trajectory. Then, the radar passes the information to the control center, the second part, the Battle Management and Weapons Control. It calculates if the missile poses a threat to a populated area. If it does pose a threat, then it commands the Missile Firing Unit to launch a missile to intercept the incoming hostile missile.
There are three to four launchers in each unit. Each of the launchers holds 20 Tamir Interceptor missiles. These missiles have electro-optic sensors and are an all-weather air defense system. Iron Dome’s launchers are usually scattered over the defending area, unlike traditional air defense systems. They connect to the control unit with a secured wireless connection.
The Iron Dome can intercept missiles with speeds up to 2.2 Mach. The system is also present elsewhere, such as the naval version, C-Dome, deployed in 2017. In 2020, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems delivered two defense system batteries to the US Army.
Although many countries are interested in buying an Iron Dome, there are two problems to consider. First, it costs thousands of dollars to intercept a rocket. To tackle this issue, Israel is developing a laser-based air defense to destroy hostile missiles mid-air. This will hopefully bring the cost down. Second, the Iron Dome can only intercept several missiles. A report from Forbes pointed out that if its control unit faces a large number of missiles, it won’t intercept them all. The rest of the missiles will penetrate the protection, meaning additional defensive measures might be necessary. However, it’s still much better than not having coverage of the Iron Dome.
YouTube: Watch Israel’s Iron Dome Intercept Wave of Rockets From Gaza | WSJ News
Photo credit: The images used are owned by Rafael Advanced Defence Systems and were part of a press release.
Sources: David Hambling (Forbes)