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The Military Technology

Israel's Iron Dome Missile Defense Shield Actually Works 861

Hugh Pickens writes "Sarah Tory reports that the debut of Israel's Iron Dome missile defense shield has added a new element to the conflict between Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza strip, one that military officials are calling a 'game-changer.' Israeli officials are claiming that the shield is destroying 90 percent of missiles and rockets it aims at that have been fired into southern Israel by Hamas. This level of success is unprecedented compared with older missile defense systems such as the American-made Patriot model used during the 1991 Gulf War. The missile-defense system can detect rocket launches and then determine the projectiles' flight paths and only intercepts rocket or artillery shells if they are headed for populated areas or sensitive targets; the others it allows to land. It takes a lot of raw computing power to rapidly build a ballistic profile of a fast-incoming projectile, make a series of quick decisions concerning potential lethality, and launch a countermeasure capable of intercepting said projectile in-flight. One reason Iron Dome is showing a much more robust capability than the Patriot system did is simply that its battle control hardware and software are several generations more advanced than those early interceptor systems. 'Israeli officials point out that Iron Dome saves money despite the fact that the interceptors cost up to $100,000 each,' writes Tory. 'The cost of rebuilding a neighborhood destroyed by a rocket attack — not to mention people wounded and lives lost — would be far greater than the cost of the interceptor.' Most important, the system buys Israel time, allowing it to plan out an appropriate response without the political pressure that would be generated by hundreds of potential deaths."
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Israel's Iron Dome Missile Defense Shield Actually Works

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  • Re:Too bad... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Haxagon ( 2454432 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @09:19AM (#42039577)

    You seem to have left out the US and Israel funding Fatah to wage a proxy war against Hamas (democratically elected, by the corrupt system that the US and Israel pushed), the IDF killed a thirteen year old boy last month, then a twenty-three year old mentally disabled man who walked too near Gaza. Then, when the PFLP wounded four in a rocket launch near the border, Israel ASSASSINATED one of the leaders of Hamas and the strip.
    Just thought you could use that background info.

  • Apples and Oranges (Score:5, Informative)

    by necro81 ( 917438 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @09:27AM (#42039695) Journal
    One other large difference that the summary glosses over is that there's a big difference between the Katyusha [] and improvised rockets [] of Hamas, and the much larger Scud missile [] used by Iraq. There's almost an order of magnitude difference in size and range, and a several-fold difference in speed.

    There's a correspondingly large difference between the Tamir interceptor missiles used as part of the Iron Dome [] and the Patriot missile [].

    Still, on the whole, it's probably a good thing that we are getting better at setting our lethal weapons against each other, rather than at people.
  • Patriot Failures (Score:5, Informative)

    by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @09:27AM (#42039697)

    There was a huge problem with the Patriot system early on where the tracking computers lost so much accuracy even after only running continuously for 8 hours that the system would fail to intercept threats. The short term solution was to reboot the system at regular intervals.
      GAO Report: Patriot Missile Defense [] (Official report)
      Patriot Missile Software Problem []
      Round off errors and the Patriot missile []

  • by IceNinjaNine ( 2026774 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @09:30AM (#42039751)
    Holy crap, check this thing out []!

    Color me impressed...
  • Re:Accuracy (Score:5, Informative)

    by mapkinase ( 958129 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @09:43AM (#42039945) Homepage Journal

    I have heard about 2/3 rate, not 90% rate. There is little room to independently separate propaganda exaggeration from actual facts.

  • Re:Too bad... (Score:5, Informative)

    by robthebloke ( 1308483 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @09:55AM (#42040081)
    Here's a handy diagram [] that may help to explain things. Try showing restraint when your neghbourhood has been invaded, bulldozed, and then built on.
  • Re:You disgust me. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @09:56AM (#42040115)
    There was never an Arab state by the name "Palestine" which owned any of the land in what is known as Palestine or Israel. The West Bank was seized by Israel from Jordan in a self-defensive war in 1967, who had itself held it in an illegal occupation from 1948-1967. Prior to that the land was held by the Brits, and before them the Turks/Ottomans, before that the Crusaders, before that the Romans, and before them... the Jews.

    Gaza is at present fully under Arab rule, so none of your points apply there, it's not clear what they're "fighting back" against.
  • Re:Too bad... (Score:5, Informative)

    by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:05AM (#42040227) Homepage

    Israel assassinated one of the leaders of Hamas

    The man who was killed, Ahmed al-Jabari, wasn't just "one of the leaders of Hamas". According to Gershon Baskin [], who was involved in Israeli-Hamas negotiations:
    "Passing messages between the two sides, I was able to learn firsthand that Mr. Jabari wasn’t just interested in a long-term cease-fire; he was also the person responsible for enforcing previous cease-fire understandings brokered by the Egyptian intelligence agency. Mr. Jabari enforced those cease-fires only after confirming that Israel was prepared to stop its attacks on Gaza. On the morning that he was killed, Mr. Jabari received a draft proposal for an extended cease-fire with Israel, including mechanisms that would verify intentions and ensure compliance. This draft was agreed upon by me and Hamas’s deputy foreign minister, Mr. Hamad, when we met last week in Egypt."

    In other words, if Israel had really wanted a cease-fire agreement, they would have just waited for Jabari to sign the deal. Instead, they killed him.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:06AM (#42040253)

    Hamas isn't using improvised rockets. It's using Iranian Fajr-3 and Fajr-5 rockets, and Chinese-built BM-21 Grad rockets.

  • Re:You disgust me. (Score:2, Informative)

    by superwiz ( 655733 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:18AM (#42040441) Journal

    Israel stole land from the Palestinians. They then allowed their people to build "settlements" on other people's land.

    Israel completely withdrew from Gaza. But your argument would be wrong even if they didn't.

  • Re:Too bad... (Score:4, Informative)

    by ceoyoyo ( 59147 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:23AM (#42040527)

    Strangely, it's more complicated than that. Isreal was attacked more than once by it's neighbours before 1967. It's not really unreasonable for them to want a buffer zone they control access to around their main populated region.

  • by g8oz ( 144003 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @11:47AM (#42041985)

    Mahmoud Abbas is the most reasonable, most pragmatic Palestinian leader Israel has ever dealt with. Yet he has gotten no where in advancing the peace process.
    The question is when will Israel show any interest in a peace deal. The answer is never.

    Why, you may ask? (Or may not, if as I suspect, your prejudices are set in stone). Because a peace deal will invariably involve some reasonable compromises, and any pullback on settlements however minor will rip Israeli society apart.
    Easier to keep the Palestinians bottled up and deal with their periodic tantrums.

  • Re:Accuracy (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @12:07PM (#42042291)

    It's sure your fault when you prevent many of the resources necessary for building hospitals from getting into the country. You then proceed to bomb the hospitals they do build inspite of that. It's a lot easier to smuggle the parts of a rocket than a hospital you know. If you build a concentration camp then it probably is your fault when the inmates lash out against you.

    So Israel has the right to self defence, but Palestine doesn't? Oh yeah that's right I must be an anti-semite for even suggesting that.

    OK so you make your point clear, ethnic cleansing is the solution you prefer. Well at least in that case letting the people you want gone out of the area you want them out of would be wise. Frankly the entire discourse here today is sickening.

  • Re:Missile Command (Score:5, Informative)

    by dywolf ( 2673597 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @12:50PM (#42043015)

    Um...these aren't crummy hand made rockets...they aren't some plucky underdog using baling wire and household chemicals.

    And they ARE Iranian made. It's right in the news articles about the Hamas rocket attacks:

    "Today, Hamas is armed with relatively sophisticated Iranian Fajr-5 rockets, firing them at Israel’s largest city, and tweeting that the rockets are causing havoc in Tel Aviv." - []

    The rocket: []

  • Re:Accuracy (Score:2, Informative)

    by 21mhz ( 443080 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @01:38PM (#42043725) Journal

    The planned attack is not because of rocket attacks, it is because there is an election coming up in Israel in about a month. Nothing improves the chances of an incumbent to be reelected as much as a fresh war to show he is tough on the "terrorists."

    Sure, what's a thousand rockets launched in the space of a week, some getting as far as Tel Aviv which was not a target since the Gulf War. It's so easy to dismiss from the comfort of your arm chair in a safe and prosperous country, where you don't need to run for shelter when a siren sounds several times at any hour of the day. Asshole.

  • Re:Accuracy (Score:2, Informative)

    by xevioso ( 598654 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @02:29PM (#42044469)

    Maybe they shouldn't smuggle rockets into hospitals.

From Sharp minds come... pointed heads. -- Bryan Sparrowhawk