First Interception for T.A Iron Dome First Interception for T.A Iron Dome

Throughout the night, the IAF has stationed an Iron Dome battery in the Tel Aviv Area Within one night, a new operational battery to protect the Greater Tel Aviv area has been stationed, with its first interception today a success

IAF Website | Photography: Lior Kestner

4:45 p.m. update: Confirmed, the newly deployed Iron Dome battery in Gush Dan had its first succesful interception, intercepting a rocket bound for the Tel Aviv area. The rocket is responsible for the alarms that sounded in Tel Aviv minutes ago. Read on about the deployment of the new battery below.

It has been two days since rocket ranges surpassed 40 Kilometers, urging residents of central Israel to take shelter. The IAF has stationed an Iron Dome battery in the Greater Tel Aviv area, whose purpose is to intercept the long-range missiles left in the hands of the Hamas.

The new battery, fifth in its number, was expected to be integrated into the IDF only in January 2013. That said, as a result of its successes in defending southern residencies from rockets, security industries joined the efforts and accelerated the battery’s development process. This morning, it was deemed operational. The fifth battery includes newly developed systems for performance enhancement, which will face the test in the first interceptions of the new battery. This morning, IAF Commander Major General Amir Eshel visited IAF fighters at the new battery.

The Greater Tel Aviv area is not foreign to the fighters of the Aerial Defense Formation. Nine months ago, the fighters deployed to the area as a part of an exercise in familiarity with a variety of areas, in case of emergencies in locations that are not routine. This exercise, in retrospect, was crucial to the reality of operation “Pillar of Defense”.

Operation “Pillar of Defense” put Iron Dome systems to the test as a result of the multitude of missiles launched toward the Israeli rear. Out of over 600 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip, only 24 landed in populated areas thanks to the large number of interceptions; proof that the system is crucial and life-saving. It is important to note that the system is not hermetic, therefore citizens are asked to take precautions and abide to instructions of the Home Front Command.