At a recent testing experiment conducted by RAFAEL (defence systems manufacturer), advanced interception capabilities of the “Iron Dome” system were tested.
Gal Goldshtein | Translation: Nikolai Avrutov
More than 4,000 rockets were fired into Israel from Gaza between 2000 and 2007, disrupting the life of nearly 1,000,000 Israelis living within the growing rocket range. Hospitals, schools, and kindergartens – all suffered direct hits over the years. The massive rocket barrage prompted the Defence Minister Amir Peretz in 2007 to select the “Iron Dome” project to be developed as a defence solution to this short-range rocket threat.
At the recent experiment, the capabilities of the system to intercept rockets fired at a very short and very long distances were tested. “We have already tested system’s ability to intercept rockets within the standard scenario. This time we wanted to see how it will act when dealing with more extreme, less common, and much more challenging situations”, explains Lt. Col. Aviram Hason head of Interception Systems Unit. “The system will be responsible to defend specifically defined areas, and we tested its ability to distinguish between rockets that pose a threat to the area to those that will land outside of predefined boundaries”.
The experiment also tested system’s connectivity to other anti-missile systems, and its contribution to early warning abilities. “The system is capable of calculating the landing area of the rockets with great precision, and as such it enhances early-warning abilities significantly”, says Lt. Guy.
Even though the system performed well during the experiment, it is not to say that it is perfect: “obviously there are still certain things that need to be improved, and issues to be ironed out – like in any newly developed system. Having said that, after three years of work we have developed the world’s first short-range interception system”, concludes Lt. Guy. “The system intercepted everything that was fired its way, and we gained a lot of confidence in its abilities”. “
“This is an important milestone for the Israel and its defence industries who led this exceptional technological development at such a short time” said current Defence minister Ehud Barak after the experiment. “We will act for its rapid deployment in the very near future”.