A look at how the advanced air defence system operates

SUMMARY

Israel’s Iron Dome uses interceptor missiles to detonate the incoming rockets. The air defence system was developed by the Israeli firms Rafael Advanced Defence Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries at an approximate cost of $210 million.

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Israel's Iron Dome: A look at how the advanced air defence system operates

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The Israeli Defence Forces continue to rely on the ‘Iron Dome’ widely regarded as the country’s first line of defense. Here’s a look at how one of the most advanced air defence systems in the world operates. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

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What is Iron Dome? Israel’s Iron Dome is a missile defense system designed to intercept and neutralise rockets fired by militant groups. It plays a crucial role in protecting Israeli civilians from potential threats. (Image: Shutterstock)

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Videos posted on social media show this piece of military technology in action; it appears as streaks of missiles cruising into the air before stopping mid-flight in a flash. (Image: Reuters)

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This air defence system was conceptualised in 2006 following a bloody conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, a Shia militant group based in Lebanon. After several years of research and development, the Iron Dome was operational in 2011 and the system successfully intercepted a rocket launched from Gaza for the first time on April 7, 2011. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

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The air defence system was developed by the Israeli firms Rafael Advanced Defence Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries at an approximate cost of $210 million. (Image: Shutterstock)

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How does it work? The system uses interceptor missiles to detonate the incoming rockets. This process starts with a tracking and radar system that monitors the skies for any incoming object. (Image: Reuters)

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Within seconds, advanced algorithms quickly work to identify the missile, and then calculate the speed and trajectory of the rocket. (Image: AP)

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The system will then promptly launch an interception missile that races towards the offending missile, causing it to detonate mid-air with minimal damage on the ground. (Image: Reuters)

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How Hamas breached the Iron Dome? Hamas launched over 5,000 rockets at Israel from the Gaza Strip in about 20 minutes. The near-perfect air defence system has a success rate of 90-94%. This time Hamas succeeded in overwhelming the system by firing an unprecedented number of rockets, making it difficult for the Iron Dome to intercept all missiles. The system neutralised many rockets but several bypassed it and hit buildings. (Image: Reuters)

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As of mid-2021, Israel had 10 Iron Dome batteries each armed with three launchers for 20 interceptor missiles. Israel also uses another air defence system for medium to long-range rockets and cruise missiles known as David’s Sling, named after the biblical story of David and Goliath. (Image: Shutterstock)

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