The Iron Dome system is an all-weather tactical missile defense system designed to protect the territory of Israel from unguided missiles, artillery shells and mortars at ranges from 4 to 70 km, as well as to intercept aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles at altitudes up to 10 km.
The Iron Dome is part of Israel's missile defense echelon system and provides a short-range intercept capability.
The system is developed and manufactured by the Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. Since September 2014 (after signing the $149.3 million contract), work on the Tamir interceptor missile from Iron Dome has been conducted in cooperation with the U.S. company Raytheon.
According to Israeli reports, as of July 2014, the cost of each launch is about $20,000.
The complex was adopted for service by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in 2010. The first complex was put on combat duty in March 2011 near the town of Be'er Sheva, 35 km from the Gaza Strip. During the fighting in the summer of 2014, the eighth battery of the Iron Dome system was deployed.
In October 2014, work on the marine version of the system became known to Rafael Ltd. The project was designated C-Dome.
The specific tasks that were set for the developers of Iron Dome predetermined the architecture of the system and its combat application. One of the main problems is the huge gap in the cost of the system, the interceptor missile and the targets to be hit (unguided artillery shells).
As of July 14, 2011, the cost of one Iron Dome system is $15mn, while the cost of an interceptor missile is $40k. The report of the parliamentary commission on foreign affairs and defense of Israel shows that each battery of Iron Dome costs up to $50mn. As of March 12, 2012, each launch of an interceptor missile costs between $50,000 and $70,000.
Given the relatively low accuracy of shooting artisanal uncontrolled projectiles, the developers of the Iron Dome system adopted the concept of selective interception of targets. Once the projectile is detected, the Iron Dome Missile System battle control room classifies the target and assesses the threat based on an analysis of its trajectory and the estimated impact area. A command to intercept and destroy the target is issued only if the munition poses a threat to the protected locality or territory. According to the designers, one system can provide a medium-size city missile defense when fired at a medium intensity city. The probability of intercepting a single target is up to 85%. The destruction of the target is provided at a considerable distance, which reduces the risk of collateral damage to the defended object, including during an attack using chemical munitions.
The system is effective under all weather conditions, including low cloud cover, rain, dust storms and dense fog.
Battery composition of the Iron Dome system:
- multifunctional radar ELM-2084 (see photo 1, photo 2, photo 3, photo 4, photo 5 (photo 4,5 ©Miroslav Gyürösi (Slovakia))
- a command and control station (see photo);
- launchers (see photo 1, photo 2, photo 3, photo 4, photo 5, photo 6, photo 7, photo 8 (photo 6-8. ©Miroslav Gyürösi, Slovakia) with 20 Tamir (TAMIR) interceptor missiles (typically three or more launchers). The launchers are moved by means of vehicles.
One Iron Dome battery can provide a 150 square kilometer missile defense area. The battery can operate autonomously or be included in an echelonized missile defense system.
The ELM-2084 multifunction radar of Elta Systems (Israel Aerospace Industries division) with two-dimensional electronic scanning is equipped with an active phased array antenna (AFAR) and operates in the S-band (2-4Hz). According to the developer, the design of the AFAR (see photo) provides for the possibility of scaling its size by docking additional modules, which provides an increase in capabilities of the entire weapon system. The station has modern means of displaying the tactical situation using high-resolution color displays, built-in diagnostic tools and a simulator complex for training personnel. A variant of the automated workstation of the combat control station and control system was demonstrated in 2010 (see photo 1, photo 2 ©Miroslav Gyürösi (Slovakia). The station can be transported by C-130 aircraft.
The Tamir missile (see Photo 1, Photo 2, Photo 3, Photo 4, Photo 5, Photo 6, Photo 7, Photo 8, Photo 9 (Photo 2-9. ©Miroslav Gyürösi, Slovakia) is designed as a duck and has advanced aerodynamic rudders that ensure active manoeuvring when intercepting a target. The missile is equipped with a homing radar head and a data line receiver for receiving correction commands from the Iron Dome combat control station. The fragmentation and blast unit is equipped with a laser detonator. It is also reported that the Tamir interceptor missile is equipped with electro-optical sensors and aerodynamic rudders to ensure high maneuverability.
|Tamir interceptor missile|
|Weight of the head part, kg||11|
|Maximum speed, m/s||700 (2.2 Маха)|
|Minimum range, m||4000|
|Maximum range, m||17 000|
|EL/M-2084 mobile multifunction radar|
|Range of target detection:
- Artillery projectile type
- like "aircraft, guided missile"
up to 100 km
up to 470 km
|Error in determining target coordinates
like an artillery shell
|(up to)125m at a range of 50km|
|Field of view:
- on azimuth - sector mode
- azimuth mode - all-around visibility
- around the corner
|Number of accompanied targets:
- artillery shell type
- like "aircraft, guided missile"
up to 200 in a min.
up to 1200
|Deployment/cooling time||≤20 min.|
The chronicle provides the dates of publication in the sources indicated below.
14.05.2010 The Pentagon has notified the Israel Defense Ministry that US President Barack Obama has approved the allocation of $205mn for the deployment of the Iron Dome system. The Israeli government announced that the allocated funds will be used to purchase 10-15 Iron Dome batteries. During the first phase of the Israeli ABM project more than $800mn was spent on it, including expenses for training specialists. The mass media published information on attracting investors from a third country for participation in the BMD program (according to French media - Singapore).
20.07.2010 Israel Defense Ministry announced successful completion of Iron Dome BMD system tests.
27.03.2011 The first Iron Dome complex was put on combat duty near Be'er Sheva town 35 km away from Gaza.
07.04.2011 For the first time an unguided missile fired from the Gaza Strip was intercepted.
03.06.2011 Two Iron Dome complexes deployed in test operation intercepted eight of the nine unguided rockets that were launched.
09.12.2011 The Iron Dome battery intercepted a 122 mm Grad rocket launched from the Gaza Strip in the Kiryat Malachi area. The intercepted missile was one of 18, launched from 8 to 10 December. The remaining projectiles of various types fell in the western Negev desert without causing damage.
29.12.2011 Report about the incident during the operation of the Iron Dome system, during which 20 Tamir interceptor missiles fell out of the launcher and fell in the immediate vicinity of soldiers.
06.01.2012 Results of the analysis of the Iron Dome system combat application in 2011 were published. Three deployed batteries successfully intercepted 33 of the 47 missiles launched from the Gaza Strip. In April, the Iron Dome system intercepted 8 of 10 missiles, in August - 22 of 28 and in October - 3 of 9. Two Israelis died as a result of the missiles they did not intercept. The system's failure in October 2011 resulted from the failure of the multifunction radar.
10.03.2012 Rockets continued to be fired into Israeli territory. In an hour and a half 13 rockets were fired at Israeli territory, most of them at settlements in the Western Negev. The last volley of six rockets hit Sderot and Eshkol district. Seven rockets were fired at Netivot and seven were fired into the West Negev. One missile was hit by an Iron Dome missile defense system.
12.03.2012 The IDF Air Force Command's report stated that since March 9, the Iron Dome has struck up to 85% of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip (in total, the IDF has estimated that over 220 rockets have been fired).During the course of March 12 alone, the Iron Dome has struck 26 "kasam" and "hail" rockets. Thus, according to the most conservative estimates, the expenditures on missile defense amounted to about $10mn.
02.05.2012 Rafael and Raytheon announced the creation of a consortium to promote the Iron Dome system in the US market. The companies estimate that the system may be used to create an advanced missile defense system for the US Army. It is expected that the Iron Dome will be used in the USA together with the C-RAM system.
17.11.2012 In Gush-Dan district due to escalation of situation the fifth battery of Iron Dome was deployed ahead of schedule and started its combat duty. As of November 17, four batteries that were in operation so far intercepted about 250 missiles. The new battery will be able to detect rocket attacks towards Gush Dan and Jerusalem and shoot down medium-range missiles. According to Israeli experts, the Iron Dome system has significantly changed the situation in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict zone by providing effective interception of rockets aimed at Be'er-Sheva, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Netivot and other cities. The first successful interception of the unguided Fajar shell launched towards Tel Aviv has been reported.
13.08.2013 The press office of the Israel Defense Forces announced the successful interception of an unguided rocket that was fired at the resort town of Eilat. "The missile defense system "Iron Dome" was activated, which shot down the missile. There were no casualties or damage," the press service added. This is the first case of antimissile batteries combat application in the Eilat area.
18.07.2014 Attempt to bombard central Israel from Palestinian territory. The Iron Dome missile defense system shot down at least two missiles over Gush Dan and two more over Sharon district. At least four rockets were fired at Be'er-Sheva and surrounding settlements, three of which were shot down by the Iron Dome system.
28.07.2014 The Israel Defense Forces spokesman reported that an early warning system for a missile attack in Upper Galilee towns was falsely triggered because fireworks were launched on Lebanese territory in commemoration of the Eid al-Fitr Muslim holiday.
- Авторские фотографии: ©Miroslav Gyürösi (Словакия)
- Рекламный листок. MultiMssion Radar (MMR).EL/M-2084. IAI ELTA Systems Ltd. Group&Subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries LTD.
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