Israel Sees New Advantage in Iron Dome Anti-Missile System

(McClatchy) Sheera Frenkel - Earlier this month, the Iron Dome system intercepted 56 rockets before they could land, a success rate of 75%. Israeli officials argue, however, that the Iron Dome also identified rockets that were headed for open areas, such as fields, and let them land harmlessly. Factoring those in, Israeli military officials argue that only 18 of the 166 landed anywhere on target, giving the system a success rate of nearly 90%. Israel Defense Forces chief Benny Gantz said the ability to protect Israeli population centers from rocket attacks removed one of the key factors that the military had always seen as a limitation on its operations: what the likelihood was of reprisals. Israel is installing other systems that are intended to stop larger missiles, fired from farther away. David's Sling, built in conjunction with the U.S. military, is designed to intercept medium- to long-range rockets and cruise missiles, such as those possessed by Hizbullah in southern Lebanon. The Arrow, also developed with the U.S., would intercept ballistic missiles fired from hundreds of miles away.

2012-03-28 00:00:00

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