Five facts about the Iron Dome anti-rocket system

The deployment of an Iron Dome anti-rocket battery in southern Israel on Sunday (Mar. 27) marked another step on the system's path to becoming fully operational

Date: 28/03/2011, 6:23 PM     Author: Barney Breen-Portnoy

1. The Iron Dome system was designed as a response to the threats Israel faces from short-range rockets and mortar shells. The system has the capability to identify and destroy such projectiles before they land in Israeli territory.

2. The Iron Dome system is one part of Israel's comprehensive missile defense network. The David's Sling system is intended to protect against mid-range missiles and the Arrow Interceptor system is designed to provide defense against long-range missiles.

3. The Iron Dome system is comprised of three components: the design and tracking radar, built by the Elta defense company; the battle management and weapon control system, designed by the mPrest Systems software company; and the missile firing unit, manufactured by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.

4. The decision to build the Iron Dome system was made by the Ministry of Defense in 2007. The previous year, the Hezbollah terrorist organization had fired thousands of missiles into northern Israel during the Second Lebanon War. Israel had also experienced rocket attacks on its southern communities from the Gaza Strip, mainly carried out by the Hamas terrorist organization. Between 2008 and 2010, the Iron Dome system underwent a number of comprehensive tests.

5. The Iron Dome system has the capability to determine where an incoming projectile will land and only intercepts projectiles that pose meaningful threats.