Iron Dome 311.
(photo credit: Channel 10)
After passing its final operational test on Monday, the Iron Dome anti-missile
system is set to be deployed in Israel in November, and residents living within
rocket range of the Gaza Strip are greeting the announcement with both relief
Ashkelon Mayor Benny Vaknin, whose city was bombarded by
Kassam and Grad rockets during Operation Cast Lead, welcomed the impending
deployment of Iron Dome, which he said would make a significant improvement in
the quality of life of his city’s residents.
“I very much hope that one
of the Iron Dome teams will be deployed in Ashkelon, because it can
protection,” Vaknin said on Tuesday. “We took hundreds of rockets and
Cast Lead, so we deserve a system like this.”
Vaknin called the news
“very positive” for Ashkelon and vowed that the defense system would
the deterrence against Israel’s enemies, as well as feelings of security
the public. “It’s expensive, but what can you do, it’s for the sake of
security,” he said, when asked about what many consider the platform’s
Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilna’i said later in the
day that Iron Dome would not succeed in intercepting all of the rockets
into Israel. “It is more likely that it will intercept about 80
told Israel Radio.
Vilna’i said that residents of Gaza-belt communities
would continue to be threatened by rockets for “years to come.” He added
the IDF would not deploy the system along the southern border
would do so based on operational requirements.
Development of Iron Dome
has cost over $200 million, and the program has come under repeated
because of its high cost. The system operates by identifying an incoming
and then firing a missile to intercept it in mid-air. The missiles cost
thousands of dollars each, while the crudely-made rockets they’re meant
down cost very little.
In an article on the CBN News Web site on
Wednesday, Yossi Drucker, director of the Iron Dome project, said each
missile would cost $100,000.
Military analyst Reuven Pedatzur is less
than thrilled about the system, which he has referred to as “a scam.”
each missile we fire costs $100,000, and each Kassam costs $10, $20,
they’ll need to do is shoot as many rockets as they possibly can until
broke. Hizbullah alone is believed to have over 150,000 longrange
can’t afford this.”
Pedatzur called statements that Israel now has the
means to solve all of its missile and rocket threats “nonsense and
citing the short flight time of most projectiles fired at Israel, and
it takes for Iron Dome to identify and intercept a threat.
can’t defend against anything with a range of less than four and a half
kilometers, and also possibly projectiles with a range of up to 10 km,”
“It can’t protect Sderot or the western Negev because there isn’t enough
enough range. The flight time of a Kassam is 14 seconds, and it takes
15 seconds to identify a threat and fire a missile.”
Pedatzur added that
the system can’t target mortars, which were heavily used by Gaza
during Cast Lead.
“Basically, the whole story, that they have solved the
threats facing Israel, is nonsense, it’s delusional.”
Sderot resident and
director of the Sderot Media Center Noam Bedein was similarly
news that Iron Dome was on its way to deployment, saying that it won’t
protection to the western Negev town.
“Iron Dome is supposed to work only
on objects fired from over 4 km. away, so those of us on the border with
won’t be protected. Here in Sderot, everyone understands that it won’t
Bedein added that if the government was so sure about the
effectiveness of Iron Dome, it wouldn’t have spent “half a billion
turning us into the bomb shelter capital of the world.”Yaakov Katz
contributed to this report.