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Each interceptor missile costs roughly $62,000, is tasked with destroying improvised "Qassam" rockets from Hamas

In recent days, Israel has been pounded by waves of low-tech, crude, but deadly rockets fired at it from the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian territory.  But as the picture has emerged, it appears that Israel's missile defense system has spared it some of the potential damage.  The so-called "Iron Dome" system was fielded only as recently as 2008. Now it stands as perhaps the largest scale use of a wartime missile mitigation system in the history of modern warfare.

I. Hopes for Peace Fade

Israel thought that its concerns in the Gaza Strip were over in 2005. At the time, it made the bold decision to pull the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) out of the region and force all Israeli citizens to leave the 356 square kilometer part of the Palestinian territories which borders Egypt and Israel.

Despite having conquered the region in 1967 during the Six-Day War, in which Israel was attacked by several Middle Eastern nations, Israel's policy has been increasingly hands off.  Israel allows the Palestinian territory its own independent government.  For many years Egypt helped run this government, but more recently local politicians have controlled it.

The recent conflict began in 2006 when Hamas -- which the U.S. government categorizes as a terrorist organization -- took over the government of the Gaza strip, and in the aftermath silenced opposition party leaders in a bloody purge.  After the consolidation of power, Hamas called on its people to wage "holy war" with its neighbor.  Article 7 of the Islamist organization's covenant states that Palestinians must drive the Jews out of the Middle East, so that the Judgment Day predicted by the Islamic Prophet Mohammed can be realized [source].

For the past several years that directive has been behind escalating violence as Hamas's militia -- al-Qassam -- fired "Qassams" -- crude fertilizer-based improvised explosive missiles (IEMs) with a firearm cartridge, spring, and a nail serving as a detonator.

But the conflict dramatically escalated over the last week.  Following the November 14, 2012 air strike that killed top Hamas leader Ahmed Jabari (in retaliation for late 2011 and early 2012 missile strikes on Israel), Hamas appears to be pushing for full-blown war with Israel.  In the past five days, 877 rockets were fired at Israel according to the IDF (al-Qassam claims slightly more; 1093 rockets on its Twitter).


But according to the IDF, only 570 of those rockets reached targets; 307 were shot down by the Iron Dome system.

II. Iron Dome Steps Up

So what is Iron Dome?  


Iron Dome is a series of batteries deployed near the border of the Palestinian states.  Compared to Qassams, the Iron Dome missiles are on the other extreme of the technology spectrum.

Computer controlled, the warheads are nearly 10 feet long (3 meters), are roughly 6 inches in diameter, and weigh 90 kilograms (198 lb) according to security analyst group IHS Jane's.  The different models have ranges from 4 km (2.5 miles) to 70 km (43 miles) and carry a payload of 11 kg (24 lb) of high-impact explosives.  

Where as the Qassam rockets likely cost under $100 to manufacture, each Iron Dome interceptor missile carries a sticker price of around $62,000 USD.  Batteries to fire them cost approximately $50M USD.

The system is smart enough to assess where enemy missiles will land and determine whether it's worth it to send up an interceptor.  If the enemy missile is expected to kill civilians or damage key infrastructure, the battery locks in the course and attempts an interception.

Iron Dome
Iron Dome interceptors kill a Qassam rocket in this AP footage from Tel Aviv.
[Image Source: YouTube/AP]

The IDF describes the system's radar-based operation, commenting, "The radar detects a rocket launch and passes information regarding its path to the control center, which calculates the predicted point of impact.  If this location justifies an interception, a missile is fired to intercept the rocket. The payload of the interceptor missile explodes near the rocket, in a place that is not expected to cause injuries."

In 2011, three years after the first field tests, the system was boasting a 70 percent interception rate.  But such claims are often just hype -- the real question is how it would perform under a serious conflict scenario.

The answer has come this last week, as the system recorded a "real world", as IDF missiles killed 35 percent of incoming rockets.  In other words, roughly 1 in 3 missiles shot at Israel was successfully intercepted.

III. Finally a Successful Interceptor System?

Regardless of how many missiles targeted, the success rate appears to be well over 30 percent, making it arguably the highest real world success rate to date.  Israeli news agencies have suggested that approximately 80 to 90 percent of the rockets targeted have been hit.

Of course such claims are hard to verify; it's unclear whether the actual interception rate is better or worse than 70 percent figure the IDF previously boasted.  But what is clear is that the success rate is remarkable.

To put the kill rate in context, Raytheon Comp.'s (RTNPatriot interceptor system -- a similar system -- is though to have had an under 10 percent real-world success rate in the Gulf War, according to Congressional testimony by Theodore Postol of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Reuven Pedatzur of Tel Aviv University  -- a pair of top military experts.

Further, in operation Iraqi Freedom the Patriot interceptor system suffered some serious glitches, with three friendly fire incidents.  In another incident a F-16CJ Fighting Falcon jet fighter detected that a Patriot battery had erroneously locked onto it.  To defend itself, the U.S. Air Force pilot engaged countermeasures which destroyed the battery; fortunately no injuries were reported.

F-16CJ
Raytheon's Patriot interceptor system has suffered from performance issues; in Operation Iraqi Freedom a F-16CJ had to fire on and destroy one of the Raytheon batteries to prevent its own destruction, after the battery's malfunctioning control algorithms accidentally locked onto it.
[Image Source: Andrews Air Force Base]

To be fair, part of the Israeli success is owed to the U.S. who has subsidized the system.  Congress in 2010 allocated $205M USD to Iron Dome, and President Obama last year pushed through an addition $70M USD in funding.

In a speech he commented, "This is a program that has been critical in terms of providing security and safety for Israeli families.  It is a program that has been tested and has prevented missile strikes inside of Israel."

The system is designed by company called Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., an advanced technologies firm which is also responsible for the Protector USV -- an unmanned 11 meter ship, which the company claims is the world's first surface unmanned naval war vessel.

Iron Dome
RAFAEL's missile defense system is proving relatively effective. [Image Source: Rafael]

An important note is that the interception claims have not been thoroughly independently validated, and may only be sorted out in the aftermath of the conflict.  Observers on the ground have reportedly witnessed some of the interceptions.  And the IDF's claimed interception rate seems more feasible than the U.S. Military and Raytheon's potentially misleading claims from the two Iraq conflicts.

At the end of the day, it appears that Iron Dome may be the world's most sophisticated and proven successful anti-missile system.  Thus in some ways it is the realization of many a failed Cold War dream, such as President Ronald Reagan's (R) infamous Star Wars project.  It should be interesting to watch the results as the Israeli-Gaza conflict continues and Iron Dome continues its trial by fire.

Sources: IDF [Twitter], al-Qassam [Twitter], Janes, AP/YouTube [Interceptor hit footage]



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Interesting math
By lightfoot on 11/19/2012 5:28:28 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
"The radar detects a rocket launch and passes information regarding its path to the control center, which calculates the predicted point of impact. If this location justifies an interception, a missile is fired to intercept the rocket.

So the system chooses not to intercept every missile?

quote:
In 2011, three years after the first field tests, the system was boasting a 70 percent interception rate.
In testing when fired it has a 70% interception rate?

quote:
The answer has come this last week, as the system recorded a "real world" success rate of around 35 percent. Roughly 1 in 3 missiles shot at Israel was successfully intercepted.
35% of all missiles fired are shot down. Assuming the 70% rate listed above, the system would need to be firing interceptors at 50% of all fired missiles to achieve this rate. If anything this seems to suggest that the system is operating at or beyond the levels it was during testing. Other sources seem to indicate that a very large percentage of these missiles are falling harmlessly in unpopulated areas, suggesting that interception isn't even necessary in the vast majority of launches.

Correct me if I am wrong, but this sounds like a huge success.




RE: Interesting math
By JasonMick (blog) on 11/19/2012 5:59:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So the system chooses not to intercept every missile?
Yes, read the IDF spokesperson commentary. Some missiles are off course, given their improvised nature and the often hasty launches to escape air strikes. Shooting a $62,000 missile at a rocket that's headed for a dusty patch of desert is a waste.
quote:
35% of all missiles fired are shot down. Assuming the 70% rate listed above, the system would need to be firing interceptors at 50% of all fired missiles to achieve this rate. If anything this seems to suggest that the system is operating at or beyond the levels it was during testing. Other sources seem to indicate that a very large percentage of these missiles are falling harmlessly in unpopulated areas, suggesting that interception isn't even necessary in the vast majority of launches.

Correct me if I am wrong, but this sounds like a huge success.
No you are absolutely correct that the 70 percent was overly optimistic, but if they're achieving a real world hit rate of 35 percent it IS a big success.

My point (maybe you missed it) was that the 2011 field test rates were in artificial test conditions versus a real war scenario. Thus the 70 percent figure is pretty misleading.

The true test is the current rate. Of course the IDF could be lying about its success rate, but if it's telling the truth, a 35 percent REAL WORLD shootdown rate is very good, considering all the unpredictable variables.


RE: Interesting math
By Morvannec on 11/19/2012 6:28:28 PM , Rating: 5
If 1,000 enemy missiles have been fired, and 350 of them have been intercepted... a 35% success rate would mean that 1,000 interceptor missiles would have been fired. But that isn't right, is it?

So if we say that half of all enemy missiles (500) had an interceptor fired at them, and 350 of those were successfully shot down, then the success rate for those interceptor missiles is 70%.

If the interceptors have a 35% success rate and only 500 were fired, then only 175 enemy missiles would have been shot down.

So just how many interceptors were fired? (as 500 is unlikely to be the right number) Or rather, how many enemy missiles have been aimed at dust (thus not needed to be intercepted)?


RE: Interesting math
By JasonMick (blog) on 11/19/2012 7:42:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If the interceptors have a 35% success rate and only 500 were fired, then only 175 enemy missiles would have been shot down.

So just how many interceptors were fired? (as 500 is unlikely to be the right number) Or rather, how many enemy missiles have been aimed at dust (thus not needed to be intercepted)?
True, the information is incomplete.

But even if you consider the missiles to be somewhere in the 850-1100 range, 350 shot down is more than the roughly 10 percent or less real world success rate the Patriot interceptor is estimated by experts to have had in the Iraqi conflicts.

Is it hard to get unbiased, full information? Sure.

But the whole point is that the system appears (including based on AP footage) to be working pretty well, though of course there's a lot of room for improvement.

Considering how tiny the Qassam rockets tend to be, it's still a very impressive achievement and arguably one of the most formidable battle demonstrations of a live missile defense system, probably the most formidable, considering the glitches in Patriot interceptor battery targeting logic.


RE: Interesting math
By sheh on 11/20/12, Rating: 0
RE: Interesting math
By MGSsancho on 11/20/2012 4:48:09 AM , Rating: 3
1/3 = 33% which is similar to 35% as reported to us from the IDF. Yes I rounded but the title is close enough.


RE: Interesting math
By maugrimtr on 11/20/2012 10:11:48 AM , Rating: 3
Entire article is misleading. It intercepted roughly 35% of all rockets fired in a period. However, the system only chooses to engage rockets it determines are a threat. Ergo, the rate of successful interceptions will be higher than just 35%. It could conceivably approach 70% - we just have insufficient date (how many actual interceptions were attempted) to calculate it.

35% is the absolute minimum success rate assuming the launchers decided that ALL rockets were an immediate threat to the populace.


RE: Interesting math
By JasonMick (blog) on 11/20/2012 12:43:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
35% is the absolute minimum success rate assuming the launchers decided that ALL rockets were an immediate threat to the populace.
Exactly, that's the point I was making.

The success rate is 1/3rd or greater, as 1/3rd of the rockets were shot down, and we don't know how many were targeted.

I've reworded the article slightly, once I understood what the confusion was re:

I initially thought the op was griping about me saying 30% was a "good" shootdown rate (which it is... but 70, 80, or 90 percent would be even better!).

We're all on the same page... what you said here is precisely the message I intended to convey along with details of the program. Let me know if you find any of the current text problematic.


RE: Interesting math
By Alexvrb on 11/20/2012 12:46:41 AM , Rating: 3
I still don't think he gets what you're saying. Maybe I can try to explain it...

Iron Dome intentionally ignores some rockets. You can't make claims like 35% until you know the number of rockets the system chose to engage as well as the total number of rockets. 70% might very well be closer to the correct value.

Look at it another way. If they reprogrammed the system to engage every rocket it saw, and not ignore any, what would be the number of rockets intercepted? That doesn't even factor in the possibility of the system being overwhelmed because it is no longer carefully choosing its targets, but even so, the number of interceptions would skyrocket (pun intended).


RE: Interesting math
By JasonMick (blog) on 11/20/2012 9:35:57 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Iron Dome intentionally ignores some rockets. You can't make claims like 35% until you know the number of rockets the system chose to engage as well as the total number of rockets. 70% might very well be closer to the correct value.

Look at it another way. If they reprogrammed the system to engage every rocket it saw, and not ignore any, what would be the number of rockets intercepted? That doesn't even factor in the possibility of the system being overwhelmed because it is no longer carefully choosing its targets, but even so, the number of interceptions would skyrocket (pun intended).
I gotcha, if that's what he meant, that's fair enough. I've amended the text slightly to better convey that.

Basically it's impossible to verify, though how many missiles were targeted.

If it is truly 80 to 90 percent of the targets killed as the Israeli news and some of the ops below are suggesting, that would be incredible.

My original point is even if the rate was ONLY 30 percent, that would be incredible, compared to what Raytheon's systems were able to accomplish.

At this point the only thing open to debate is the magnitude of the success, as the real numbers slowly emerge in weeks to come.


RE: Interesting math
By Alexvrb on 11/21/2012 1:03:52 AM , Rating: 2
Thank you. It never invalidated your point, but to be fair, Patriot was terrible early on for ABM purposes. It was supposed to be anti-aircraft and replace HIMAD and other systems. They tried to make it better for ABM purposes, and went through several upgrades and revisions. I think they had MIM-104C in the Gulf which (although better than older variants) was still pretty poor.

MIM-104D and F are much better. I think if you saw the modern Patriot system in use, you'd find it was vastly improved over older models used in the Gulf.


RE: Interesting math
By H0rnet on 11/20/2012 3:47:39 AM , Rating: 3
They aren't targeting every piece of ordinance launched, they would simply burn out their stock of missiles. Their system can identify impact sites, If they find the area is uninhabited, then it doesn't justify spending the expenditure of a missile.

I've been watching this very closely on the Israeli news network when I get a chance. Also here is another article that explains the system more if someone is genuinely interested.

http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2012-11/f...


RE: Interesting math
By steelmanx on 11/19/2012 7:41:07 PM , Rating: 2
The actual data shows that 80-90% of interceptions are successful.
Most of the rockets are not intercepted as the system identifies(correctly) that they are going to hit in open areas.


RE: Interesting math
By boobo on 11/19/2012 8:20:35 PM , Rating: 2
I think you misunderstood him.

What he meant is that 35% is -not- the effectiveness rate of iron shield. 35% is the percentage of all the Hamas rockets fired that were shot down. 877 Hamas rockets were fired in total. 307 of those were shot down. That would give a 35%, but not all of those 877 had an interception attempt.

Therefore, if iron shield missiles were launched at only 50% of all the Hamas rockets, then 307 of 438 rockets were successfully intercepted.

That means that the actual interception rate really would be around 70%.


RE: Interesting math
By 91TTZ on 11/19/2012 9:05:38 PM , Rating: 3
If interceptors cost $60,000 a piece, and these Hamas missiles are $100 a piece, it sounds like they are extremely effective at hitting Israel and the US right in the wallet.

1000 $100 missiles fired- cost to Hamas: $100,000
500 $60,000 Iron Dome missiles in self-defense: $30 million

That's quite a lot of money to shoot down what are effectively model rockets.


RE: Interesting math
By Samus on 11/19/12, Rating: -1
RE: Interesting math
By sheh on 11/20/2012 12:27:17 AM , Rating: 2
Except that there's no blockade on medical supplies or food or most of anything else. As for the rest, like weapons, they're smuggled through tunnels from Egypt.


RE: Interesting math
By Dribble on 11/20/12, Rating: -1
RE: Interesting math
By 1prophet on 11/20/2012 9:18:23 AM , Rating: 2
Except each Hamas missile that is destined for a populated target has the ability to cause more than $60,000 worth of damage and that doesn't include death and injuries/medical care.


RE: Interesting math
By bonnyr on 11/19/2012 10:20:42 PM , Rating: 2
Hi Jason,

If the system chooses not to intercept a missile, because it considers that the missile will not cause damage and therefore there's no need to, then these missiles are not part of the strike rate of the system. You may want to argue whether this is an acceptable view, but this is how the system operates.

There ought to be two measures of success here -
1. number of missiles shot down vs number of missiles fired
I think you'll find the success rates claimed are in relation
to this figure, not wrt to the overall number of missiles launched

2. number of misjudged missiles which triggered no response, and caused damage. This number should be very small - but I've not seen it published.

Therefore I'd say you cannot use the overall number of missiles launched as the sole indicator and your figure of 35% is not valid, and the claims made about the success of the system are actually closer to reality.


RE: Interesting math
By inperfectdarkness on 11/19/2012 11:01:35 PM , Rating: 2
i'd agree. pity that it's $62,000 to $100. kinda just makes the case for barrage-firing the lowest-cost missiles israel can afford into gaza--since that's all hamas is doing.


RE: Interesting math
By gilboa on 11/20/2012 2:39:17 AM , Rating: 2
According the incomplete numbers presented here by the IDF, Iron Dome batteries only attempted to intercept ~30% of the incoming Quassam (home-built), Grad and Fajr (Iran-made) rockets. As others pointed out most of Hamas' and Islamic Jihad rockets were/are fired blindly into the desert.
While not citing an official launch count per target, the IDF does cite a ~89% hit rate per attempt.
The very low number of actual civilian hits (compared to previous conflicts with the Hammas and the Hizbulah) seem to concur with this assessment.

If you take into account the average damage per rocket hit (Civilian causalities, medical expenses, damage to housing and equipment, insurance, etc), the interceptor price (be that one at 35,000$ or two at 70,000$) is redundant at best.

To put things in perspective, thus far we has 3 civilian deaths and ~200 wounded (most of them due to shell shock). To the best of my knowledge misguided / failed rockets killed twice as many Palestinians (Call it divine justice :)).

- Gilboa


Please check your history
By nolisi on 11/19/12, Rating: 0
RE: Please check your history
By bug77 on 11/19/2012 6:17:37 PM , Rating: 1
The Israeli only chose to strike first while all Arab nations around them were amassing troops at their borders. Wikipedia is your friend.


RE: Please check your history
By nolisi on 11/19/2012 8:17:03 PM , Rating: 4
Care to eat your own dogfood?

quote:
During 1965-7, Israel's armed forces staged numerous provocations along the Israeli-Syrian border area.[34] This escalation led the Syrians and the Soviets to believe Israel was planning to overthrow the Syrian regime using military force.[34] On April 7, 1967, a serious incident broke out between Israel and Syria over a cultivation problem within the demilitarized zone. Israel took military action against Syria, and eventually both sides employed artillery, tanks, and mortars.[35] During this clash Israeli airstrikes were launched a few miles from Damascus. Israel bombed both Syrian border villages, and Syrian military targets, and had refused a cease-fire proposal by the Chairman of Mixed Armistice Commission.


I'm not saying the Arab Nations were innocent- I'm simply pointing out that Israel struck first in the Six Day War. All nations "amass armies" at their borders, should they leave their borders undefended?


RE: Please check your history
By nolisi on 11/19/2012 8:20:54 PM , Rating: 2
For clarity- this was before the start of the Six Day War. Israel was already attacking neighbors prior to it.


RE: Please check your history
By Ringold on 11/19/2012 11:07:49 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
All nations "amass armies" at their borders, should they leave their borders undefended?


Yep. Ft. North Dakota, keeping those crazy Canadian's in line with its 100,000 man infantry force! And those Mexicans! Border Patrol is a branch of the Army, amirite?

Nation's do not "amass" armies on their borders in peace. Study history at all? Moving forces to a border is understood as intention to invade. Remember, especially for the last 100 years or so, even so much as activating a higher level of alertness has been done VERY carefully, as other countries view it as prelude to invasion.

Another counter-point. Countries don't amass armies on borders they want to defend. They entrench and fortify, but go light on troops. Defenders build Maginot Lines and pre-position artillery, etc. Invaders move in personnel.

And beyond it all, you only have to listen to what Arab leaders themselves were saying. They, if they were all alive, would call you a naive fool if you thought they were there to peacefully defend their borders. They wanted to push the Jews out of the Middle East.


RE: Please check your history
By nolisi on 11/20/2012 2:57:44 AM , Rating: 2
A- you have a serious problem reading context. I explicitly said "I'm not saying the Arabs were innocent"

B- Jumping to an extreme comparison like the Canada/US border is not an effective argument, and you're just grasping at straws. Again- your issue is context. Would you leave a border undefended if you're at hostilities with your neighbor who has already bombing major cities and villages alike? The quote I brought up clearly depicted Israeli aggression prior to the Six Day War. Of course Syria and Egypt are going to amass armies at borders and use evocative language. They were being attacked.

C-
quote:
And beyond it all, you only have to listen to what Arab leaders themselves were saying.


I love this so much. It basically says 'let's pay more attention to what Arab leaders themselves were saying and let's ignore what Israel was *doing*.'

D- Again, learn context. The official start of the Six Day War began with Israel attacking all of its neighbors simultaneously, and was preceded by disparate incidents of Israeli aggression.


RE: Please check your history
By Ringold on 11/20/2012 10:07:37 PM , Rating: 2
How's the Canada/US border an extreme comparison? You just want to troll, or are blind, one or the other. That's what a border between two peaceful nations look like. Very similar to, say, the Franco-German border. Italy and Switzerland. No massive troop movements or formations, no need for such, no need to even have them mobilized.

Even peaceful Asian neighbors have relatively lightly defended borders, definitely nothing at all like the movements Israel responded to. And if they were being attacked, its sure funny Israel didn't significantly expand itself, because at the end it had the Arabs by the nuts. Your argument falls apart.

But I know in loony-lefty world, Israel should've just waited until the Arab's overran them before raising arms. 'Cause that would work so well for a tiny country surrounded and vastly outnumbered with its back to the sea. What a fool.


RE: Please check your history
By nolisi on 11/21/2012 1:11:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
How's the Canada/US border an extreme comparison?


Again, you missed the context- my comment about amassing troops at a border was under the context of nations who are hostile to one another, not the extreme opposite comparison of Canada/US, two nations not only at peace, but with numerous economic agreements. I didn't think I needed to break down my comment regarding "massing troops at the border" to the degree of specifying hostile nations- I thought the context was clear.

By the way, if "amassing troops" on a border alone is such a crime, where's your criticism of Israel? They were not only doing that, but also bombed Damascus and staged numerous assaults against Syria in the lead up to the war.

Apparently, if you're Israel, and bombing others is "defending yourself" while "using aggressive language" and "massing troops at a border" is offensive.

quote:
But I know in loony-lefty world, Israel should've just waited until the Arab's overran them before raising arms.


Why do you keep ignoring Israeli hostility and attacks prior to the Six Day War...?

Calling me a fool isn't going to get me to shut up about historically verifiable fact.


RE: Please check your history
By Spuke on 11/19/2012 6:20:51 PM , Rating: 2
It wasn't a cruiser, it was a "fishing trawler".


RE: Please check your history
By nolisi on 11/19/2012 8:18:25 PM , Rating: 4
RE: Please check your history
By Ringold on 11/19/12, Rating: 0
RE: Please check your history
By nolisi on 11/20/2012 3:12:49 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
People trying to wage an anti-Israeli campaign love to bring up the Liberty, but its also a sign of desperation that there's only one major slip up in a very long, deep relationship.


Since when is bringing up historical fact "waging an anti-Israeli campaign?" You're missing the ultimate context of the issue of the Liberty. It's that Israel was willing to do anything to execute its assault on its Arab neighbors, including attack an ally which might warn of the impending attack (because the US was trying to be the puppet master). And then try to cover it up by claiming "we thought it was an Egyptian cargo vessel." Israel at the time even claimed they were attacked first, then retracted the statement and since then, Israeli apologists keep pointing to the "aggressive" language of its neighbors, meanwhile ignoring the fact that Israel was already attacking in a less coordinated offensive prior to the war.

No one is suggesting Arabs weren't making "aggressive statements" nor didn't have aggressive posture. But you have to ignore all kinds of context in order to place the blame of Israel's attack squarely on themselves. Israel was already attacking.

As for "bullying Israel behind the scenes"- yeah, we did a great job bullying them- we gave them the equipment that they ultimately attacked us with.

Again, before you respond, please remember that I'm not making the suggestion that anyone had "clean hands." I'm merely bringing up the facts that you're going to to great extents to ignore, meanwhile suggesting that my mention of them somehow relates to an "anti-Israeli" campaign.


RE: Please check your history
By Ringold on 11/20/2012 10:13:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's that Israel was willing to do anything to defend itself.


There. I fixed that for you. That's what any nation would do. Their citizens come first. Anything that in any way endangers it could come in its cross hairs.

quote:
I'm merely bringing up the facts that you're going to to great extents to ignore, meanwhile suggesting that my mention of them somehow relates to an "anti-Israeli" campaign.


I do believe it's the aim you have. I don't ignore the facts, I've been aware of the Liberty attack long before DT was ever a website. It's just utterly irrelevant in the balance of the long, deep history of our friendship with Israel, nor does it at all reflect on all our shared values and goals. Some liberals in this country, and I don't know entirely why, just sympathize with the Palestinians to the point where Israel can only do right without still being painted negatively and the Palestinians could commit genocide and I think you'd suggest, ah, well, those Zionist dogs were asking for it! Nonsense, and seeing the attacks in the media.. I saw Senator Lieberman in an interview last night. His old lifelong party has deeply, deeply disappointed him.


RE: Please check your history
By nolisi on 11/21/2012 1:46:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's just utterly irrelevant in the balance of the long, deep history of our friendship with Israel


Dude, you seriously have issues with context. My aim in bringing up the Liberty has *nothing* to do with the US-Israel relationship. You might be arguing against a point someone else brought up, but not me. Drop it. Reread my posts and show me where I made any statement on the impact it should have on our "friendship."

My point was about the depth of Israeli aggression- Israel wasn't satisfied in just attacking Syria (the fact you keep ignoring) in the lead up to the Six Day War, they had to assault every nation surrounding them including an ally that would have warned of the impending attack. They then went on to try and cover it up by claiming they thought it was an Egyptian civilian vessel. Again, they tried to excuse their attack of an ally by stating they "thought" they were attacking civilians.

This is how justified Israel believed its aggression was: they were actively attacking Jordan and Syria in the lead up to the Six Day War (Israeli Generals have confirmed this), they launched the initial attacks during the Six Day War and claimed they were attacked (which they later retracted), and justified their attack of an ally by stating they thought they were attacking Arab civilians rather than American military.

My aim is only to point out the depth of Israeli aggression and the extent to which they were willing to execute on their capture of territory (the whole point of the Six Day War- response to the Arabs "aggressive language" was only an excuse). And when they were told they couldn't hold on to Egyptian and Syrian territory, then a few years later they invaded Lebanon during its Civil War displacing its southern population, creating a perpetual warzone until they were forced to withdraw in 2000.

But sure, again, you go ahead and keep focusing on the extreme language used by the Arabs rather than the extreme action of Israel before, during, and after the Six Day War.


Why?
By DrApop on 11/19/2012 9:24:43 PM , Rating: 2
Why are we paying Israel anything to develop these weapons? Not to mention the 3 billion in military grants. WTF!

Not only that but this is basically and updated version of the Patriot missiles that we gave them also. The Patriot is 25 year old tech if not older.

Meanwhile we are about to fall off a cliff here....and we are just giving away our rope!




RE: Why?
By sheh on 11/20/2012 12:36:04 AM , Rating: 1
Israel financed part of it, including the initial development.
As to why, because the US benefits from it as well. A lot of these agreements include Israel having to buy or produce in the US military tech. The US gets the use the tech as well, plus gets it field tested.


RE: Why?
By Aloonatic on 11/20/2012 9:14:56 AM , Rating: 3
The USA's funding of this project is a win win really.

Yes, it helps to develop and test a missile defence system, but the real reason is political.

think what would be happening if Israel didn't have Iron Dome. Many many more Israelis would have been killed, and that would have made it almost impossible for their government to have not invaded the Gaza Strip already, and the situation would haev been escalated a lot further a lot faster.

With the missile defence shield in place it allows the Israelis to handle this in a defensive manner, without the need to go on the offensive as early as they would have, and we are all probably benefiting from this. The last thing that we need is more land fighting (or any fighting really) in the middle east.

It's probably some of the most cost effective foreign aid/assistance money that the US Government has spent in a long time.


RE: Why?
By bh192012 on 11/20/2012 2:39:41 PM , Rating: 2
It does seem effective at stopping the worst of the missiles.

However I don't understand what wars in Israel have any effect (positive or negative) on the United States?


RE: Why?
By Aloonatic on 11/20/2012 5:49:49 PM , Rating: 2
Are you really being serious when you say that you don't understand how a peaceful middle east, as opposed to a middle east with Israel in a proxy war with Iran (which is what this really is) sending tanks into the streets of Gaza, is good for the USA?

I don't know if you are American or not, but Israel really seems to put America into a corner sometimes politically too. America seems to feel that it has to support Israel no matter what in public, which does America few favors on the world stage (and I know that a lot of American's don't care, *chanting" "USA USA USA" *fist pumps* and all that, but it really does matter) even though they are probably trying their hardest to get Israel to hold back.

But at a very simple level as to why it's good for the USA (and everywhere and everyone really) for Israel and Hamas etc not being at each other's throats is have you ever known oil prices to go down because of strife in the middle east? And we're past the days when an oil price rise just annoys people at the pumps a bit, it has a genuine affect economies and economic growth, which is the last thing that fragile western economies need right now.


To be fair...
By HoosierEngineer5 on 11/19/2012 5:30:11 PM , Rating: 1
As I understand it, the Scud missiles were enhanced versions of the World War 2 German V2 rockets. Sounds like the missiles in this conflict are more like model rockets. They probably travel at much lower speeds, and lower altitudes. Like comparing a kid on a tricycle to a sports car.




RE: To be fair...
By lightfoot on 11/19/2012 5:36:50 PM , Rating: 3
They are also vastly smaller than a SCUD, harder to detect, and have a shorter flight time, so don't assume that this is a trivial task.


RE: To be fair...
By HoosierEngineer5 on 11/20/2012 10:58:30 AM , Rating: 2
Scud:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scud

Qassam:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qassam_rocket

A bit of a difference, I believe.

Remember, you don't need to directly hit the missle to disable it. The goal is to get close and damage it, or cause it to explode. Shrapnel is your friend.


CIWS?
By Gunbuster on 11/20/2012 10:07:54 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not a missile interception expert but why are they not using a gun based system like Phalanx? It has an effective range of 2.2 miles. Seems like that would be a LOT cheaper.




RE: CIWS?
By freedom4556 on 11/20/2012 5:16:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Seems like that would be a LOT cheaper.
Probably not. Can't imagine the gigantic 20mm bullets are that cheap with a firing rate of 4500 RPM. Also you, yourself noted the limited (2.2mi) range. CWIS is used as a last-resort interception method in the navy.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phalanx_CIWS
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/20_mm_caliber


30% is success now??
By rvd2008 on 11/19/12, Rating: 0
RE: 30% is success now??
By StevoLincolnite on 11/19/2012 7:00:15 PM , Rating: 2
Probably fine.

They get allot of extra funding from other developed nations as well like the US.

Plus they spend the largest amount per GDP on military in the developed world.
However, with that said they aren't a large nation, comparable to New Zealand in terms of population, but it is a country that has vital strategic military presence in a war ravaged part of the world, hence why it has allot of support from other developed nations. - That and it's interests are the same as other developed nations, democratically, human rights etc'.


Maths
By MadJak on 11/19/2012 9:21:39 PM , Rating: 2
A few points... First off, most of the incoming missiles are not targeted by Iron Dome so the hit rate is supposedly much higher than 1/3rd, more like the 75-80% reported. Some are saying as high at 90%.

Also, for one successful intercept there may be multiple interceptors fired to increase the chance of success. There are a few videos around where you can see 10 or so missiles being fired to hit only 3-4 incoming targets.

You can also expect the hit rate to increase as the technology gets refined with info gathered over the past week. The more missiles it hits / misses the better it will get.

In terms of cost, how can you put a value at saving a life? If you don't think that is high, factor in the savings from the reduction of damage to infrastructure, and I'm sure the cost of the Iron Dome is easily justified. The add in the positive morale on the Israel side, and the negative impact to Hamas and the system is extremely effective.




Funding inaccuracy
By sheh on 11/20/2012 12:46:59 AM , Rating: 2
The article makes it sound like the the system's development was financed by the US, while in fact it appears the initial development was financed by Israel (I'm seeing $200 mentioned in one place), and the US joined in later.




As an Israeli I can attest...
By NanoTube1 on 11/20/2012 1:00:28 PM , Rating: 2
that the Iron Dome system is more successful than any of us ever dreamed. It is nothing short of a technological miracle. Regardless of the average of success be it 60%, 70% or 80% the proof for Iron Dome's wild success is this:
During previous wars, for example the 2006 lebanon war, hundreds of thousands of Israeli civilians had to leave their homes because they where heavily bombarded by enemy rockets. Israelis living outside of the conflict zone hosted these families in their homes. This time around, despite the heavy bombardment almost no one left. The ONLY reason, the ONLY thing that changed is the Iron Dome system! The proof is in the pudding!

And by the way, PLEASE, ENOUGH with the "low-tech, crude" rockets BS. The Palestinians are firing Iranian made missiles: Grad (Katyusha), improved Grad, Fajer-5, etc etc. These missiles can pack up to 175Kg of explosives in their war head!!




So Called?
By Hammer1024 on 11/20/2012 1:11:14 PM , Rating: 2
So called "Iron Dome"?...

That IS the name of the system... Why the sarcasm?

Shall we place you in front of a Palisinian missile launch and see if you piss your so called "pants"?




Israel SNAFU
By chromal on 11/19/12, Rating: -1
RE: Israel SNAFU
By soccerballtux on 11/19/2012 4:52:41 PM , Rating: 2
"democratically"


RE: Israel SNAFU
By BigTommy on 11/19/2012 5:21:31 PM , Rating: 4
It's so obvious when someone comments on a subject he's not even nearly understand...
I believe the author who wrote this article did it on a neutral basis which is on my opinion is the best way to express his opinion and stick as closely as possible to reality. You really think the elections in Gaza were real? You must also think that the same was in Iran...

In the end no one can understand the situation here without being here. I believe as most Israelis do, that the Palestians deserve they own state. Over the past years the Palestinians got a change to prove themselves in an a almost complete autonomy but only to grow into a "Hamasthan" terrorists goverment. Imagine the same situation in the West Bank... We'd be all be already under attack from missles in all directions without the IDF's presence there. Also, the West Bank is also somesort of autonomy.

BTW, the Iron Dome is meant to not to intercept every "stupid" missle. And YES, it does worth $62000 on each interception when you save even ONE live, contrary to Hamas using civiliians as shield.


RE: Israel SNAFU
By ClownPuncher on 11/19/2012 6:38:42 PM , Rating: 2
That's a fair point. Hiding behind civilians to deter retaliation is not terribly civilized.


RE: Israel SNAFU
By ritualm on 11/19/2012 5:28:17 PM , Rating: 2
The entire peninsula is a war zone. If you want long-lasting peace, you either wipe out the Jews or the Arabs, either way the land will be covered in radioactive fallout before things return to "normal".


RE: Israel SNAFU
By kwrzesien on 11/19/2012 5:42:51 PM , Rating: 2
Their own books they pray to forecast this very outcome.


RE: Israel SNAFU
By corduroygt on 11/19/2012 7:18:44 PM , Rating: 3
Both sides would be one step close to peace when they both realize that their books are full of B.S. just like any other religious text in existence.


RE: Israel SNAFU
By sheh on 11/20/2012 12:40:13 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure what the Quran says, but don't forget that this part is covered also in the Christians' book. :)


RE: Israel SNAFU
By alphadogg on 11/19/2012 6:48:55 PM , Rating: 2
The only way to solve the two-party polarized America is to nuke it.

Sounds just as logical and fair, right?


RE: Israel SNAFU
By Ringold on 11/19/12, Rating: -1
RE: Israel SNAFU
By Dribble on 11/20/12, Rating: -1
RE: Israel SNAFU
By Cluebat on 11/20/2012 7:26:29 AM , Rating: 2
Dude.

Your public education is showing.


RE: Israel SNAFU
By Dribble on 11/20/12, Rating: 0
RE: Israel SNAFU
By Paj on 11/20/2012 11:42:27 AM , Rating: 1
No, actually he's pretty much spot on.


RE: Israel SNAFU
By Cluebat on 11/21/2012 8:17:35 AM , Rating: 2
How many buses and pizza joints need to be obliterated before you realize that these people are genocidal?


RE: Israel SNAFU
By Paj on 11/22/2012 8:47:20 AM , Rating: 1
How many government buildings, schools and hospitals need to be obliterated before you realize that Palestinians are living in a state worse than apartheid?

We could play this game all day.


RE: Israel SNAFU
By ElConquistador on 11/20/2012 2:47:58 PM , Rating: 2
When I look at the Middle East, all I see is 7 million Jews surrounded by 2.5 Billion Arabs ... I think to myself: "This can't last. The outcome is inevitable. It may take years, decades, or even a couple of centuries, but it WILL happen"


RE: Israel SNAFU
By Yojimbo on 11/19/12, Rating: -1
RE: Israel SNAFU
By Ammohunt on 11/19/2012 5:43:24 PM , Rating: 2
I todays day and age its trivial to compute the trajectory of a rocket to determine if it will land in populated areas or not.


RE: Israel SNAFU
By Ringold on 11/19/2012 11:42:32 PM , Rating: 2
Thats the cheap part, you're right.

I gotta suspect the expensive part is hitting one bullet with another bullet, to steal a metaphor.


RE: Israel SNAFU
By Yojimbo on 11/20/2012 2:09:49 AM , Rating: 2
huh? Were you replying to my post? Or something mentioned in my post? It had nothing to do with the cost of computing the trajectory of a rocket.


RE: Israel SNAFU
By Ammohunt on 11/20/2012 1:21:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This article says that an interceptor is not always fired, but doesn't say how many times interceptors were fired, only how many were successful, so the implied success rate is unknown, as is the cost ratio between Hamas rockets fired to Israeli missiles fires.)


This part directly


Technically...
By JonnyDough on 11/20/12, Rating: -1
RE: Technically...
By JonnyDough on 11/20/12, Rating: 0
Pitty it doesn't stop Israel from attacking civilians
By BZDTemp on 11/19/12, Rating: -1
At least SOMEONE is happy...
By topkill on 11/19/12, Rating: -1
RE: At least SOMEONE is happy...
By Ammohunt on 11/19/2012 6:11:43 PM , Rating: 2
Saving innocent lives can be quite gratifying. Try getting some new talking points you sound like Tim Robbins.


RE: At least SOMEONE is happy...
By topkill on 11/19/12, Rating: -1
“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith














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