The Iron Dome, one of the most technologically advanced defense systems of the century, amazed the world with its innovation. In simple terms, the Iron Dome is a system designed to intercept incoming rockets and artillery shells mid-air from up to 70 kilometres away. It was created by Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aircraft Industries and was first deployed on the 27th of March, 2011, in Beer Sheva. The system proved how successful it was after shooting down a missile from Gaza on April 7 of that same year. The Iron Dome is very effective as it can shoot hundreds of rockets down at high speed, as well as aiming the missiles very precisely at specific targets. Israel even started to profit from this system by selling it to other countries. Its effectiveness has allowed many Israeli civilian lives to be saved, benefiting Israel as a whole.
Here are five cool things that I found particularly interesting about the Iron Dome:
- It’s the world’s first effective defence solution for intercepting rockets, artillery and mortars, etc.
- One of the developers recently told Hayadan, the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology’s magazine, that he was inspired to create the Iron Dome after examining a toy car he had bought for his son at a local Toys R Us.
- The cost of launching a missile from the Iron Dome can cost anything between $20,000 to $100,000, while the rockets fired at Israel are estimated to cost between a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. This shows the great priority Israel places on human life, who truly value every single one in the country, compared to the priority of terrorists to destroy the lives of anyone necessary to accomplish their goals, and will sacrifice people if needed to.
- During the Iron Dome’s deployment, the IDF realized that it is also effective against aircraft up to an altitude of 32,800 feet.
- It was designed to be operated easily by an average female soldier, who is 160 centimetres in height and 48 kilograms in weight. In this way almost any soldier, regardless of their height/strength, would be able to operate it making it more practical, than if it would only be operable by specific people.
The Iron Dome has benefited and saved countless lives over the past two decades. After the IDF killing of Zohair al-Qaisi (the secretary-general of the Popular Resistance Committees) in Gaza on 9 March 2012, more than 300 rockets were fired at Israel. 177 missiles fell into Israel and the Iron Dome intercepted 56 of those rockets that were directed at large cities. In 2014, during operation Protective Edge (which began in response to over 100 rockets launched at Israel during 24 hours by Gazan soldiers), the Iron Dome intercepted rockets launched from Gaza towards southern, central and northern parts of Israel. During the 50 days of the conflict, 4,594 rockets and mortars were fired at Israeli targets; the Iron Dome intercepted 735 projectiles that it determined were threatening, and achieved a 90% interception rate. Only 70 rockets fired at Israel from Gaza failed to be intercepted. One civilian was killed and three others and nine servicemen were wounded by mortar bombs, but they were not in areas protected by the Iron Dome. One can only imagine how many more innocent lives would have been lost without the Iron Dome missile defence system. Only 25 percent of rockets fired were determined to be threatening due to the low accuracy and unstable trajectory of the poor-quality rockets fired.
In conclusion, the Iron Dome is a truly successful Israeli technological advancement of the past decade. It saves many lives, by being deployed every time missiles are fired at Israel. Millions of lives are saved, jobs are uninterrupted, and people feel more secure. Israel has also made lots of money selling their system to other countries while also trying to protect Israel and its citizens from danger due to the ongoing Israeli and Arab conflict.