Videos showing the effectiveness of Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system against rockets from Gaza have been posted and watched hundreds of thousands of times on the internet. They show dozens of glowing bullets whirring through the air against the black night sky and lighting up brightly against a backdrop of sirens and explosions.
An Iron Dome battery consists of a radar unit and a control center that can detect projectiles soon after their launch and calculate their trajectory and target. It takes seconds for an approaching projectile to be detected. This is crucial because depending on how far they live from the Gaza Strip, people in Israel might only have 15 to 90 seconds to get to safety when the sirens start wailing.
A battery also has three or four rocket launchers with 20 missiles each should projectiles be headed toward populated areas. The interceptor missiles can be maneuvered in the air. However, they are not designed to strike an approaching projectile but to explode close by and destroy it in the process. Falling debris can, therefore, still cause considerable damage…
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