Iron DomeBy IAG | November 30th, 2012 | Posted in Aviation News | 1 Comment
On a visit to Israel we were given a relatively close up visit with an Iron Dome battery. The lights on the launcher tell the story – flashing red means the device is live and online, ready to fire instantly. All around southern Israel we saw large trucks driving with canisters such as on this launcher – carrying empties away and bringing fresh ones into service.
The recent events in Israel have been a cause of much discussion. Hamas declared a victory because they are still in business. They know had a ground operation against been launched they would have been even more severely mauled. That the IDF did not engage in a ground attack is therefore a win for Hamas.
But the greater win was on the IDF side. Its Iron Dome is till in pre-beta mode. Think about that for a moment. The batteries fired two interceptors at each target. After the trial by fire we were told this will not be necessary in future. The only missiles that escaped the Iron Dome were those fired in salvos of 16. With only one interceptor needed per target, a launcher such as seen here could handle 20 targets on its own.
Moreover the IDF developed a method that reduced identification of a missile launch site to attacking the site to "seconds". They won't explain how, but almost certainly this has to do with perennial war zone coverage by UAVs.
There is some thoughts that Hezbollah in Lebanon could be much more difficult to handle. But this probably not the case. The consensus of people we have spoken with is that the Gaza event was fired off by Iran to take pressure off Syria. While Israel was vilified for killing under 200 Palestinians in the about 10 day campaign, Assad in Syrian killed that many people per day without the world media attention. Which tells you something about the world's media agenda. It is far easier to cover a battle with Israel because you are safer by an order of magnitude.
The Iron Dome had a hit rate of between 82% and 90%. That is a tremendous success for a system still test mode. We understand that the system designers benefited from Russian immigrants trained in classical mathematics who wrote the geometry algorithms so the system could decide on a fire/no fire based on the expected landing site of an incoming missile.
One Israeli analyst shared this view: "The spine and backbone of Iran's military method and concept (and obviously its proxies) is the use of rockets and missiles first and for most part as a weapon designed and designated to terrorize. Lacking the ability to win conventional confrontation with Israeli army, the rockets are their answer, the use of rockets is supposed to compensate for their military inferiority and to play role as weapon of deterrence as well as weapon that – in their mind – will generate political achievements."
And it gets worse for Iran and its surrogates. A few days ago Israel made an additional major breakthrough with the successful test of Magic Wand – designed to handle mid-range rockets. Israel is now at the forefront of missile and rocket protection. With its enemies best weapons largely neutralized, the Israeli Air Force could now go into full attack mode when needed. No regional air force is a threat. No regional army is a threat. Long range attacks on Israel by missiles are likely to be far less damaging than they could be.
In fact, the EU now is probably under greater threat from Iran's missiles than Israel. Unless the US places a large number of its Patriot systems all over the EU.