Israel's Iron Dome: Doubts over success rate

Daredevil

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Iron Dome was developed by an Israeli defence contractor but paid for mainly by the US

A leading US expert on missile defence has raised doubts about the efficacy of Israel's Iron Dome defence system.

Israeli officials say it hit some 84% of the targets engaged in last year's conflict with Hamas in Gaza.

But Professor Theodore Postol of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology suggests the defence system's success rate may have been "drastically lower".

The success of the Iron Dome was one of the most significant military aspects of Israel's brief campaign.

During this upsurge in fighting - dubbed Operation Pillar of Defence by the Israeli military - Israeli aircraft, drones and artillery bombarded Palestinian targets, while Palestinian groups fired over 1,400 rockets into Israel.

The Iron Dome missile defence system - built by the Israeli company, Rafael, but largely funded by the US - was rushed into service to defend against the Palestinian missile threat.

Track-record
Mr Postol has a track-record in debunking claims made for state-of-the-art missile defence systems.

In the wake of the 1991 Gulf War after which lavish praise was directed at the Patriot defensive system used by the Americans to defend against incoming Iraqi Scuds - Mr Postol showed that the Patriot's defenders - like the Patriot itself - were wide of the mark.

Patriot's success rate, he argued, could have been less than 10%, perhaps even zero. It may actually have hit nothing.

Mr Postol's criticism of the Iron Dome rests upon the nature of the warhead carried by the interceptor missile and the observed trajectories - or flight paths - of the launches he has studied from the November 2012 conflict.

In essence he believes that the only way Iron Dome can be sure of destroying the warhead of an incoming rocket is to hit it head on.

"If the interceptor is flying a crossing or diving trajectory compared to that of the incoming rocket," he told me, "then you are not going to destroy the warhead. Even hitting the incoming warhead side-on will probably not have sufficient energy to detonate it, he argues.

'Deception'
Mr Postol says that while he cannot say what the performance of Iron Dome was in Operation Pillar of Defence, "all the available evidence unambiguously indicates a drastically lower level of performance than the 84% claimed by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF)."

His view is that the successful hit rate on incoming warheads could be as low as 5-10%.

Mr Postol says that if the IDF wants to make such claims, then it should provide the data to back them up.

He acknowledges that it might have been "a reasonable strategy for Israel to claim that Iron Dome was working, as an excuse not to invade Gaza at an enormous cost to both sides. "

But he argues that "continuing such a deception can only result in the misappropriation of limited defence assets".

Mr Postol says that "as an American supporter of Israel's right to self-defence", he does not feel comfortable seeing the US spend money on a weapon system "that hardly works".

The BBC tried to contact Rafael, Iron Dome's manufacturer for a response to Mr Postol's claims but was unable to get a reply.

Earlier an IDF spokesman quoted in the Haaretz newspaper, noted that "all interceptions by Iron Dome are investigated with cross-checking of system data, radar [data], reports from different sources on the ground and other information. The data of [Iron Dome] activity was arrived at based on this process."

BBC News - Israel's Iron Dome: Doubts over success rate
 

SajeevJino

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we already discussed Iron Dome's Performance at Pillar of Defence in IDF

http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/...ome-successfully-intercepts-gazan-rocket.html

http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/...a-wants-license-produce-iron-dome-report.html

http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/...es-israels-iron-dome-counter-pak-puppets.html


...If the Palestine rockets fall in the residential area Iron Dome Intercepts If it's headed towards open surface The Iron Dome Didn't Launch it's Taimur Interceptor missile from the Iron dome system...Till Now no military hardware Proved Itself as 100% success rate in multi missions


I think BBC should Refer DFI to analyses Iron Dome
 
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W.G.Ewald

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Mr Postol says that while he cannot say what the performance of Iron Dome was in Operation Pillar of Defence, "all the available evidence unambiguously indicates a drastically lower level of performance than the 84% claimed by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF)."
Where is the data published?
 

pack leader

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offical imod response :
Israel's MOD strongly rejects unsubstantiated study

Israel's MOD strongly rejects the unsubstantiated study published recently regarding the performance of Israel's "Iron Dome" system.

The baseless claims do not in any way reflect the performance of "Iron Dome" in the last year and a half, since it has been put into operational service.

The population of the center and south of Israel experienced - first hand - the system's achievements during Operation "Pillar of Defense" which proved itself with an interception rate of over 80%.

We regret the claims presented are considered by some - albeit very few - as scientific in nature. It must be highlighted that they are based on amateur YouTube videos.

The State of Israel is the first country in the world to have a system which intercepts short-range rockets. This achievement is the result of the hard work of the engineers and scientists of the MOD and defense industries. The security establishment is more than content with the system's impressive results and will continue to acquire more "Iron Dome" batteries.
 

pack leader

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the american militery establishment is jelous we achived great results in one tneth the buget and one fith the buget the americans claimed was neded
 

W.G.Ewald

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the american militery establishment is jelous we achived great results in one tneth the buget and one fith the buget the americans claimed was neded
You assume Professor Theodore Postol of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is part of the US military establishment. Your assumption may not be correct.

He is no longer at the Pentagon.

This is his background:

He received his undergraduate degree in physics and his PhD in nuclear engineering from MIT. Postol worked at Argonne National Laboratory, where he studied the microscopic dynamics and structure of liquids and disordered solids using neutron, x-ray and light scattering, along with computer molecular dynamics techniques.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_Postol

He is a gadfly, I would say. Lots of them floating around. BBC is always happy to quote gadflies.:-(
 

Armand2REP

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Well a hit doesn't equate to a kill if the warhead isn't destroyed. One would have to map impact points to determine that success rate.
 

asianobserve

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the american militery establishment is jelous we achived great results in one tneth the buget and one fith the buget the americans claimed was neded

Your financer is just raising valid issues. So better answer them properly.
 

pack leader

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Your financer is just raising valid issues. So better answer them properly.
israel is an independent country we provide service in retun for cash
israel is not an american charity
people that gather saintific info via youtube have no right to raise issues
 

asianobserve

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israel is not an american charity
Don't be in denial. You are an American protectorate in the Middle East. Without American guarantee your existence in the Middle East will be in serious doubt.

While its true that America gets something for its military aid to Israel but you have to admit that that American help is principally skewed in favor of Israel (thanks to Jewish lobby in America). America can stand and thrive without Israel. How about Israel, can it stand without American guarantee?
 

SajeevJino

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Don't be in denial. You are an American protectorate in the Middle East. Without American guarantee your existence in the Middle East will be in serious doubt.
looks like whenever you invest your money in Share market or buying a new hardware thinking that you're the owner of the Company instead of Product
 

pack leader

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Don't be in denial. You are an American protectorate in the Middle East. Without American guarantee your existence in the Middle East will be in serious doubt.

While its true that America gets something for its military aid to Israel but you have to admit that that American help is principally skewed in favor of Israel (thanks to Jewish lobby in America). America can stand and thrive without Israel. How about Israel, can it stand without American guarantee?
for 31 years (1948-1979 ) israel had no american militery aid
for 5 years (1948-1952 ) soviet union was our militery backar wepons source and ally
for 19 years (1952-1967 ) france was our princiable wepons source and ally
in 1956 we started a joint nuclaer project with france kept secret from america for 17 years
we welcome frindship but we are fierslly independent
no russian french or american solider ever died in defence of israel
we are not south korea
leran some history !!!!!!!
 

W.G.Ewald

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Don't be in denial. You are an American protectorate in the Middle East. Without American guarantee your existence in the Middle East will be in serious doubt.

While its true that America gets something for its military aid to Israel but you have to admit that that American help is principally skewed in favor of Israel (thanks to Jewish lobby in America). America can stand and thrive without Israel. How about Israel, can it stand without American guarantee?
Chuck Hagel? Is that you?
 

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