Disaster averted: Iron Dome missiles fall off truck

20 interceptors are damaged when soldiers fail to properly secure them; Iron Dome operations suspended during investigation.

December 29, 2011 09:56
1 minute read.
Part of the Iron Dome rocket shield system

Iron Dome 311 R. (photo credit: NIR ELIAS / Reuters)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


A serious and expensive accident occurred this week in the Air Force unit responsible for the Iron Dome rocket defense system in the South. Twenty Iron Dome interceptor missiles fell several meters, causing damage to the missiles but no injuries.

The accident occurred when the missiles were improperly secured while being loaded onto a truck for maintenance, Israel Radio reported.

US may buy Iron Dome to defend ME bases
3 more Iron Dome batteries to arrive by 2012

A number of soldiers and officers were nearby but none were injured. The rockets are built with a safety mechanism to ensure they only explode when fired at a rocket.

The missiles were damaged and will be removed from the active arsenal, according to the report. Each interceptor costs around $50,000 and usually two are fired at rockets slated for interception, putting the monetary cost of the accident at roughly $1 million.

The IDF ordered an immediate investigation into the incident, which senior officials called a case of severe negligence by soldiers and commanders who ignored safety procedures, the IDF Spokesman told Israel Radio. The Iron Dome system will be suspended until the initial investigation is completed.

Israel currently has three Iron Dome batteries deployed in the South and a fourth is slated to be deployed in early 2012. The system has intercepted dozens of rockets since the beginning of the year.

Thursday's incident follows reports that the United States Army is set to decide on the possible purchase of the Iron Dome counter-rocket defense system. The system, developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, has already been sold to Singapore, according to foreign reports.

The US Army is interested in using the Iron Dome outside bases in Iraq and Afghanistan that could potentially be targeted by Katyusha rockets. The US military has discovered 107 mm. Katyushas in Iraq in the past. The initial deal is valued at $100 million, but could reach several-hundred-million dollars over a number of years.

Yaakov Katz contributed to this report.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

idf hebron
August 22, 2014
Palestinians throw Molotov cocktail at IDF checkpoint in Hebron