Monday, 18 April 2011

Iron Dome Tested In Real Combat

A piece of hardware India is very interested in is "Iron Dome" Israel’s newest rocket interceptor. It was pressed into action on the 7th of April 2011 in real combat for the first time, intercepting GRAD rockets fired by the Palestinians from the Gaza strip. The ‘Iron Dome’ battery positioned near Ashkelon is one of two sites recently deployed in the Northern Negev, protecting population centers against rocket attacks. On Friday, the same unit successfully intercepted a salvo of three GRAD rockets fired at the city. Effectively closing the targeting loop seeking the rocket launchers, IAF(Israeli Air Force) strikes succeeded in hitting some of the launch teams before escaping the sites.
The Multi Mission Radar (MMR) operating in the area detected the launch of rockets fired from Gaza toward Ashkelon and triggered ‘code Red’ alert sending the city to the shelters. Simultaneously, ‘Iron Dome’ went into action, Assessing the projected impact point of some of the rockets to be within the protected area, the battery launched its interceptors to defeat the specific rockets posing a potential risk, scoring direct hits. Identifying the Palestinian rockets’ launch point, the IAF conducted an air attack targeting the location. The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians had escalated in the month of March and April, as Palestinians fired rockets at the city of Beer Sheva.
Earlier in the week Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak requested the Israeli Government to allocate funding for the acquisition of five additional Iron Dome batteries. Funding for seven batteries was approved last year by the U.S. Congress but the actual funding was not allocated yet.
On the very same day , the Palestinians escalated the situation further, firing an AT-15 Kornet anti-tank missile at an Israeli school bus transporting children back from school, wounding the driver and one passenger on board. The attack was followed by intensive Qasam (improvised rockets) and mortar fire throughout the region. By introducing such precision weapon against a civilian target, the attack triggering an escalated Israeli response by firing artillery and direct fire by helicopter gunships.