Out upon the rolling hills south of Tel Aviv is the world’s most formidable missile and rocket defense known to mankind. In combat last year, over the course of a 10-day battle, Israel took on over 4,000 missiles, rockets, and UAVs. Astounding numbers of up to 700 launches per day from the Gaza Strip attacked Israel’s population of 9 million, spread out across Jerusalem, Ashdot, Beer Shelba, Ashkelon, Petah Tikva, Tel Aviv, and Rishon LeZion. At a 90 percent interception rate, 1,600 missiles/rockets and UAVs were intercepted and not one single life was lost from the onslaught of overmatch and distributed missiles and rockets launched from the Gaza Strip.
This was a remarkable feat of vast complexity and resourcefulness that involved leveraging the tactical positioning of a limited number of radars, launchers, and interceptors. These systems make up the four batteries that form one battalion, which is spread and layered to defend every Israeli population center from all launch points in the Gaza Strip. Instrumental to this success was that Israeli Command and Control exercised true launch off of remote with positioned in-depth launchers that had to be timely reloaded during combat with the use of remotely positioned radars to ensure the most efficient use of the limited number of interceptors. This is the definition of the best shooters working with the best sensors to best defend. IDF has become uniquely skilled in its ability to rapidly reload the Iron Dome’s interceptors while not giving up defended areas. With each Iron Dome system equipped with 20 Tamir interceptors on dispersed launchers, all 20 can be launched in a manner of minutes depending on the engagement. The ability to rapidly reload these systems is critical in preserving life.
Yesterday the United States Senate passed a 1.5 trillion dollar omnibus bill which included 1 billion dollars for Iron Dome replenishment to procure a substantial amount of interceptors, launchers, and to continue the development of increasing Iron Dome’s interceptor capacity which the US co-produces in the United States with Israel.
Israel developed the Iron Dome at a time when many didn’t think it was possible with the oversight of Dr. Danny Gold. The IDF is leading the world in developing advanced missile defense tactics that are proven in combat to effectively and efficiently defend the population and national security assets. The challenges that remain are not technical, they are acquiring coveted real estate for the deployment of launchers and radars, tolerance of radar frequencies, and increased manpower to operate the systems.
A tremendous display of leadership and responsibility has been demonstrated by the best-defended country as they defend their nation and continue to do so. The World takes note.