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What is Israel’s first line of defense, Iron Dome?


Israel’s first line of defense, a missile defense system developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, is called Iron Dome. It was first deployed in 2011 and has since repelled and destroyed rockets from Hamas militants and Palestinian forces.

Iron Dome is land-based and built to protect Israeli citizens from rocket barrages deployed mostly from the Gaza Strip by Iran-backed terrorists Hamas. The system is capable of combating missiles with ranges between 2.5 miles and approximately 43 miles.


The Israeli shield uses radar to track an incoming threat, such as a missile or artillery shell, and transmits the target’s data and coordinates to a missile firing unit. Tamir interceptor missiles are fired at the enemy projectile to eliminate the threat.

Israel, reeling from the deadliest attack on its territory in half a century, officially declared war on Hamas on Sunday after the Palestinian militant group launched a massive surprise attack from Gaza, killing more than 1,100 . (MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images)

In the past, Iron Dome has been 90 percent effective in intercepting thousands of rockets fired by Hamas terrorists, according to Israeli officials. The defense system was an integral part of Israel’s defense during the conflict with Gaza in 2012 and 2014.

In December 2020, the Israeli Ministry of Defense announced that it had tested sea-based air defense systems over a period of a few weeks and that all tests had been successfully intercepted by Israel’s multi-level defense systems – the Dome of Iron, the Arrow and the Sling of David.

David’s Sling, or “Magic Wand”, is the secondary protection layer and a comprehensive air defense system also developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems to combat medium-range ballistic missiles and rocket attacks.


Rockets fire in the night - Iron Dome

The Israeli Iron Dome anti-missile system fires to intercept a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, near Sderot, Israel, Wednesday, May 10, 2023. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

The Arrow is the third layer of protection and a missile defense system – the most advanced of its kind. It is used to combat long-range missile strikes. The United States invested in Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and Arrow and financed the resupply of defense systems.

In 2021, bipartisan House lawmakers doubled down on U.S. support for Israel following a deadly conflict with Hamas. The battle lasted 11 days in May 2021 and resulted in the deaths of 250 Palestinians and 10 Israelis.

Democrats and Republicans wrote to now-retired Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in June 2021, urging the Pentagon to work with Congress to resupply Israel with interceptors for Iron Dome.

A total of 55 lawmakers signed the letter of support.

The letter said: “We must ensure that Iron Dome remains capable of protecting Israel without running the risk of its stock of interceptors running out. Israel must always have the resources it needs to defend itself against rockets when he is being targeted again.”

The Israeli Iron Dome anti-missile system

Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system fires to intercept a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

The United States began funding Iron Dome in 2011, and 55 percent of the system’s components are currently manufactured in the United States, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Israel is the unrivaled recipient of U.S. military aid, totaling more than $3 billion each year. For Iron Dome alone, the United States offered $1.6 billion for Iron Dome between 2011 and 2021.


In June 2022, a US company, JustAnswer, launched aid to Ukraine to build a modernized Iron Dome-style missile defense system to prevent Russian rockets from hitting civilians. The “Sky Project” missile system aims to create an all-weather mobile air defense system designed to intercept and destroy rockets and artillery shells.


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
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