published: 9 July 2014
News reports on the exchange of missile and rocket fire between Israel and Gaza make frequent references to something called Iron Dome. So what is it? Does it work? And who pays for it?
According to The Guardian, Iron Dome is a rocket defense system that uses guided missiles to intercept the homemade rockets launched from Gaza. Using radar, the system identifies potential targets and launches Tamir missiles at those deemed a threat. Each missile costs $95,000, so Gazan rockets headed for “open ground” are ignored.
The system can operate autonomously, both in deciding to launch an interceptor missile and if a missile loses contact with the ground.
In the past, Israel has claimed a successful interception rate of 84 percent.