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Paparock 03-17-2008 05:04 PM

Iron dome any alternative?
Israel Tests 'Iron Dome' Anti-Rocket System But May Not Use It The IDF has tested an anti-rocket missile system being designed to intercept and destroy short-range enemy rockets, despite doubts that Israel will continue the $200 million project.

The ‘Iron Dome’ (“Kipat Barzel” in Hebrew) system developed by the Rafael Military Industries, Ltd. passed muster, but may be scrapped due to its late delivery date. Although the system was approved a year ago, it is not expected to be ready for action until 2010.

That's not soon enough for Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who has insisted Israel not surrender any more land to the Palestinian Authority before an anti-missile system is in place. The increasing pressure from the US to tie up final status talks with the PA by the end of President George W. Bush’s term in office has also contributed to the need to move up the schedule.
The Reuters news agency reported Monday that work on the Iron Dome may be halted due to the need to find a system that can be employed much sooner. Hamas terrorists in Gaza have begun firing longer-range GRAD missiles at Israel. Islamic Jihad announced yesterday that they are preparing longer range missiles of a different type, but which could reach Ashkelon.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak is reconsidering his prior commitment to the Iron Dome given the current security situation and in response to pressure from residents in Gaza Belt communities who need protection now.
Iron Dome is hampered by its inability to protect areas within 4.5 kilometers (3 miles) of the rocket launch site due to the fact that the 10-second window to impact within that range leaves the system without sufficient time to react.

Government officials last month approved a NIS 350 million ($97.3 million) plan to fortify buildings within the 4.5 kilometer distance to Gaza as a way to compensate for the system’s deficiencies.

Barak has begun to re-review two US systems that were previously rejected.

Reuters reports that Pinchas Buchris, a senior aide to the Defense Minister, flew to the US on Sunday to observe the Nautilus anti-rocket system in action, one of the two under consideration.

haamimhagolan 03-19-2008 02:57 AM

There was a similar (although less political) report on the successful test of the Tamir interceptor published by Jane's:

The Tamir missile is reported to be roughly 3 m long, weighs 90 kg, and is 160 mm in diameter. Each Iron Dome battery is expected to consist of an EL/M-2084 fire control radar (produced by Israel Aircraft Industries' Elta division), a fire control center, and three missile launchers - each equipped with 20 Tamir missiles.

As for Ehud Barak . . . let's just say I was underwhelmed by his performance as a Prime Minister. I don't expect much more from his as Defense Minister. The Iron Dome system was selected by the Israeli armed forces as both the most affordable, and the most readily realizable answer to the Qassam and Katyusha rocket threat. This is not the movies. There is not quick fix for Israel's Hamas and Hezbollah woes, and a defensive shield - no matter how good - is only part of the solution.

Sorry Barak. Some of us can recognize political posturing when we see it.

sayareakd 04-02-2008 01:56 PM

any pic of the system ???

that would have been wonderful

haamimhagolan 04-04-2008 10:37 AM

The only images of Iron Dome or the Tamir interceptor that I have seen so far are the artists' images released by Rafael:

In case anyone missed the headlines, in late March Israel's Ministry of Defense reaffirmed the conclusion of prior studies - which had determined that the laser-based, Skyguard system was too expensive, and too far away from a realizable weapon system, to contemplate investing in it.

This is the THIRD time that the laser-based Nautilus/THEL/Skyguard concept has been rejected in favor of Iron Dome by the Israeli Ministry of Defense. The obvious shortcomings cited for the Skyguard system were its high cost, short effective range, long lead time, and its slow firing rate - which would make it easily overwhelmed by a barrage of incoming rockets. All of these are shortcomings that the missile-based Iron Dome system wouldn't have.

sayareakd 04-04-2008 12:07 PM

thanks those pics are great..........


Rivaro 05-18-2010 01:37 AM

Iron dome any alternative?
I'm curious if there isn't any alternative to the Iron Dome system to stop incoming missiles and mortars.
I've not studied physics or engineering so I apologize if this is stupid.
But wouldn't it be feasible to create some kind of passive defensive netting against these missiles and mortars?
The netting would have to be strong enough to stop the missiles and mortars yet light enough to be lifted several hundred meters into the air perhaps by airships maybe by enormous cranes and be several square km in size. It would basically be gigantic and stretch the length of the borders.
Taking into account the flight trajectory of these missiles and mortars maybe it is something that is feasible.
Maybe it's utterly impossible to create such a net maybe it's not cost effective..i simply don't know.
But the idea seems a lot simpler and perhaps more cost effective then shooting mortars and missiles out of the sky with interceptors which themselves cost a lot to produce.

SpacemanSpiff 05-18-2010 02:53 AM

For a discussion of Qassam and Katyusha defense, see these threads:

As to your suggestion of a novel defense, these ideas do occasionally get looked at. Back in the 70s and 80s, defense of Minuteman by nuclear dust clouds created by exploding bombs up-range of the silos was discussed. As was the possibility of impaling reentry vehicles on a forest of spikes surrounding the Minuteman silos. (I refer you to Ballistic Missile Defense by Ashton Carter and David Schwartz for details.) But due to obvious failings, these two ideas were not taken seriously then, and certainly are not applicable here. I leave it to someone else to calculate the weight and cost of a literal anti-Qassam net.

Bottom line, all missile defense systems today depend on a sensor (radar or optical) to perform detection, discrimination, and tracking, and then some method of destroying the incoming missile. Examples are:

1. Missiles (i.e., Iron Dome)
2. Projectiles (C-RAM Centurion)
3. Directed energy (Nautilus)

Obviously, the best method is to destroy the Qassams and Katyushas before launch, but this is often not possible.

yonster12 05-26-2010 12:29 AM

what exactly is the iron dome, ive heard about it dont rly know what its for?

haamimhagolan 05-26-2010 12:04 PM


Originally Posted by yonster12 (Post 64689)
what exactly is the iron dome, ive heard about it dont rly know what its for?

If you follow any of the links that SpacemanSpiff provided above, you should find a variety of articles that describe the Iron Dome missile defense system and its current development status.

New Ron 05-26-2010 06:55 PM

Yep good job there SpacemanSpiff! I made the thread sticky for a while so we can easliy find those threads via this one.

yonster12 05-26-2010 07:08 PM


Reform Jew 05-27-2010 07:58 PM

Iron Dome
Iron Dome

Iron Dome (Hebrew: כיפת ברזל‎) is a mobile air defense system in development by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems designed to intercept short-range rockets and artillery shells. The system is being created as a defensive countermeasure to the rocket threat against Israel's civilian population on its northern and southern border. The system is expected to be operational by May 2010.

During the 2006 Second Lebanon War, approximately 4,000 Hezbollah-fired rockets (the great majority of which were short-range Katyusha rockets) landed in northern Israel, including on Haifa, the country's third largest city. The m***ive rocket barrage killed 44 Israeli civilians[1] and caused some 250,000 Israeli citizens to evacuate and relocate to other parts of Israel while an estimated 1,000,000 Israelis were confined in or near shelters during the conflict.[2]
To the south, more than 4,000 rockets and 4,000 mortars were fired into Israel from Gaza between 2000 and 2008, principally by Hamas (see rocket and mortar attacks on southern Israel). The overwhelming majority of rockets fired were Q***ams but Hamas has expanded its range through the introduction of 122-mm Grad launchers smuggled into the Gaza Strip. Nearly 1,000,000 Israelis living in the south are within rocket range, posing a serious security threat to the country and its citizens.[3]
In February 2007, Defense Minister Amir Peretz selected Iron Dome as Israel's defensive solution to this short-range rocket threat.[4] Since then, the $210 million system has been jointly developed with the IDF.[5]

Illustration of "Tamir", the interceptor missile of "Iron Dome" system

"Iron Dome" launcher

The system is designed to counter short-range rockets and 155mm artillery shells with a range of up to 70 kilometers. According to its manufacturer, Iron Dome will be operational both day and night, under adverse weather conditions, and will be capable of responding to multiple threats simultaneously.[6]
Iron Dome has three central components:[5][6]
  • Detection & Tracking Radar: the radar system is built by Elta, an Israeli defense company
  • Battle Management & Weapon Control (BMC): the control center
  • Missile Firing Unit: the unit launches the Tamir interceptor missile, equipped with electro-optic sensors and several steering fins for high maneuverability
The system's radar identifies the rocket launch, calculates its trajectory, transfers this information to the control center, which then uses this information to determine the projected impact location. If the projectile constitutes a threat, then an interceptor missile is fired to detonate the rocket far from the impact area.[5]

Iron Dome has been criticized for its prohibitive cost. The estimated cost of the Tamir intercept missile is $35,000–$50,000,[5] whereas a crudely manufactured Q***am rocket does not cost more than a few hundred dollars.[7] Rafael has responded that the cost issue is exaggerated since Iron Dome's radar will determine which rockets may hit a populated area and intercept only those rockets that constitute a threat.[8]
Critics have also maintained that Iron Dome is ineffective in countering the Q***am threat given the short-distance and flight time between the heavily targeted southern city of Sderot and the rocket launching pads in the Gaza Strip. Other anti-rocket systems are argued to be more effective, namely the Nautilus laser defense system. From 1995 to 2005, the United States and Israel jointly developed Nautilus but scrapped the system after concluding it was not feasible. However, American defense company Northrop Grumman has proposed to develop a more advanced prototype of Nautilus, Skyguard.[9]
Skyguard would use laser beams to intercept rockets, with the discharging of each beam costing an estimated $1,000–$2,000. With an investment of $180 million, Northrop Grumman claims it could possibly deploy the system within 18 months. Israeli defense officials have rejected the proposal, citing the extended timeline and additional costs. Officials also insist that with recent improvements to Iron Dome, the system is fully capable of intercepting Q***ams.[9][10]
More recently, Tel Aviv University professor and noted military analyst Reuven Pedatzur believes that Iron Dome “is all a scam ... The flight-time of a K***am rocket to Sderot is 14 seconds, while the time the Iron Dome needs to identify a target and fire is something like 15 seconds. This means it can’t defend against anything fired from fewer than five kilometers; but it probably couldn’t defend against anything fired from 15 km., either." He concludes that due to the m***ive disparity in the cost of the Iron Dome missiles ($100,000) and the typical K***am rocket ($5) means that the Iron Dome "issue has no logic to it whatsoever."[11]

  • July 2008: the Tamir interceptor missile underwent successful testing.[12]
  • March 2009: Israel successfully tested the missile defense system, though without yet actually intercepting an actual projectile.[13]
  • July 2009: the system successfully intercepted a number of rockets mimicking Q***am and short-range Katyusha rockets in a Defense Ministry test.[14]
  • August 2009: the IDF completed the establishment of a new battalion that will operate the Iron Dome system. The battalion is a part of the Israel Air Force's Air Defense Division. The system will first be deployed along the Gaza border and then along the border with Lebanon. The system is slated to become operational in mid-2010.[15]
"Iron Dome" system intercepting 'Grad' rocket (January 2010 testings)

  • January 2010: Iron Dome successfully intercepted multiple rocket barrages mimicking Q***ams and Katyushas. Defense Ministry Director-General Pinhas Buchris stated that the system would ultimately "transform" security for the residents of southern and northern Israel.[16]
During the first stage of the Iron Dome's operational duty, the Israeli Air Force will include a large number of soldiers from Sderot, citing high motivation among the city's pre-army youth to be part of the project.[17] The 947th "Marksmen" Stinger Battalion of the Israeli Air Defense Network was chosen as the first unit to become familiar with and operate the Iron Dome.[18]

In May 2010, the White House announced that U.S. President Barack Obama would seek $205 million from U.S. Congress to spur the production and deployment of Iron Dome. White House spokesman Tommy Vietor stated, "The president recognizes the threat missiles and rockets fired by Hamas and Hezbollah pose to Israelis, and has therefore decided to seek funding from Congress to support the production of Israel's short range rocket defense system called Iron Dome." This would be the first direct U.S. investment in the project.[19] Such financial ***istance could expedite the completion of the defensive system, which has long been delayed by budgetary shortfalls.[20]
A few days later, on May 20, 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the funding in a 410-4 vote.[21] The bill, the United States-Israel Missile Defense Cooperation and Support Act (H.R. 5327), was sponsored by Representative Glenn C. Nye of Virgina.[22]

The Iron Dome system is expected to be operational by May 2010, and will be initially deployed at air force bases in southern Israel. It will be set up in other areas, like in the town of Sderot, during significant escalations along the Gaza border.[23]


Your opinions?

SpacemanSpiff 05-27-2010 10:13 PM

Those of us who follow this subject have discussed it in numerous other threads:

and I humbly ask the moderators to consolidate this thread with one of the previous threads.

Reform Jew 05-27-2010 11:19 PM

Thanks bro, and sorry.

johnboy 05-27-2010 11:25 PM

thanks SpacemanSpiff .... Done :yup:

SpacemanSpiff 08-03-2010 12:33 AM

Just to continue following Iron Dome and its production and deployment, from the Jerusalem Post:


Amir Peretz to review missile defense

08/03/2010 01:25

Sderot resident and Labor MK to lead Knesset review of Iron Dome.

The Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee announced Monday that MK Amir Peretz (Labor) will lead a special team appointed by the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee to examine the equipping and deployment of the active defense system Iron Dome.

Peretz, who is a resident of the Kassam-plagued western Negev town of Sderot and a former defense minister, was asked by Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman MK Tzahi Hanegbi (Kadima) and by subcommittee chairman Avi Dichter (Kadima) to lead the special team to examine aspects of the system, which was developed by Rafael.

The team will also include MKs Otniel Schneller (Kadima) and Moshe Matalon (Israel Beiteinu), and will work with the Defense Ministry, the IDF and Rafael to advance the conclusions published by Dichter’s subcommittee.

The team is expected to begin its work in the very near future, and in the coming days will visit the Rafael plant to examine and discuss issues concerning the speed of the system’s production, its anticipated costs, and operational questions that still remain before the system’s anticipated deployment in early fall.

Peretz’s team is expected to deliver conclusions to the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, although the team has yet to meet to determine a timetable for their findings.
There have been some noises coming from the Israeli Air Force that they intend to keep all the Iron Dome systems at air bases, either to be deployed in the field in event of war, or else to defend the air bases.

Given that the Air Force couldn't come up with a budget for producing Iron Dome, but nevertheless asserts that if any are produced, they are needed to defend air fields, I cannot help but consider their attitude as somewhat duplicitous--even if they do have a point.

In any event, if Israel wishes to get operational experience with Iron Dome, it needs to be deployed now in the vicinity of current Khassam targets. Exactly where, of course, should be kept secret.

SpacemanSpiff 09-22-2010 03:31 AM

From Haaretz:


Iron Dome defense system could be deployed first in North, IDF chief hints

Two anti-rocket batteries will be ready for operational use in November, but may not be used against Gaza rockets, as initially thought.

By Jonathan Lis

Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi hinted Tuesday that the army might choose to deploy its first batch of Iron Dome defense systems along the northern border when they become operational this coming November.

The advanced anti-rocket system, which intercepts the type of rockets used by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip and Hezbollah in Lebanon, aced its final test-run over the summer.

Two Iron Dome defense systems have so far been manufactured, and will become operational for the Israel Air Force anti-aircraft division. It has long been assumed that the system would be used to protect Israeli communities in the Gaza envelope.

But Ashkenazi told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday that "it is not certain that the first operational batteries, which will be ready in November, will necessarily be deployed in the south of the country.

Haaretz revealed in February that IDF does not intend to deploy the Iron Dome system on the ground, even once the system is operationally ready to go online.

Initially, the IDF wants to position the system in an air force base and to train the crews that will be operating it. Defense officials would consider deploying the system in and around civilian communities near Gaza only at a later date.
I won't guess where they will be stored, but figure the two top areas to protect in the north are Ramat David and the Haifa port and industrial areas.

bladeofdarkness 09-22-2010 12:26 PM


Originally Posted by SpacemanSpiff (Post 76815)
From Haaretz:

I won't guess where they will be stored, but figure the two top areas to protect in the north are Ramat David and the Haifa port and industrial areas.

i'm guessing it would be used to protect the air-force bases, since they are likely to be targeted in any future conflicts.

SpacemanSpiff 09-27-2010 01:57 AM

For a theory about likely deployment of the initial batteries in the south, see the Jerusalem Post:


IDF: Gaza rocket fire may increase with Iron Dome

09/27/2010 02:05

Officials predict that Hamas will try to test the missile defense system that will be installed along the Gaza Strip periphery,

The IDF is preparing for the possibility that the scheduled deployment of the Iron Dome missile defense system along the Gaza Strip periphery in the coming months will increase the rate of rocket attacks against Israel, senior defense officials said on Sunday.

The Iron Dome was delivered earlier this month to an Air Force base near Gedera, where the IAF Air Defense Division will establish the headquarters for the new defense system, which is designed to defend against rockets at a range of 4- 70 kilometers.

Each battery consists of a multi-mission radar (MMR) manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries and three launchers, each with 20 interceptors capable of protecting an area of approximately 150 sq. km. from rockets.

“It is possible that once the defense system is deployed along the Gaza Strip, Hamas and other organizations will increase their rocket fire to test the system and prove that it is ineffective,” one official said.
I have several thoughts:

1. Both Tel Nof and Hatzor are close to Gedera.

2. Should Hamas attempt to test the system, well:

a. A little operational experience will be useful for the operators of Iron Dome.

b. It will also assist the designers in making any tweaks to the system before more are produced.

c. The security fence combined with Shin Bet/IDF activity has effectively stopped suicide bombers, and if Iron Dome can similarly defend against Kassams and Katushas, this could be a stunning blow to Hamas, and by inference, Hezbollah. (Yeah, I know the cost exchange rate is not good, but if firing 100 Tamir interceptors causes Hamas to abandon rocket production, it would be worth it.)

Now, that said, I clearly do not want to see Israel get into an open ended missile war with Hamas. For one thing, I don't want to see all the interceptors expended. So, clearly an offensive response is needed also.

But, being an optimist, I will hope that the humiliation of having its weapons proven useless will be catastrophic to Hamas, and maybe even cause it to collapse.

SpacemanSpiff 10-06-2010 09:14 PM

A video I hadn't seen before:

Note: The last minute or so is Hebrew without English subtitles.

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