Iron Dome successfully intercepts rocket for first time

Defense system sees first operational success following heavy barrage of rockets, mortars from Gaza Strip; battery was recently deployed outside Beersheba.

Iron Dome 311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Iron Dome 311
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Iron Dome rocket defense system successfully intercepted a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip Thursday evening.
The first operational Iron Dome battery was deployed outside Beersheba in late March.
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The interception took place after dozens of rockets and mortar shells struck the western Negev on Thursday. Additionally, an anti-tank missile fired from the Gaza Strip struck a school bus Thursday critically injuring a teenager and lightly wounding the bus driver.
Defense officials had attempted to downplay expectations from the system, which they described as providing “good but not hermetic” protection.
The IDF announced that the battery would be mobile, moving according to operational requirements, and the decision to launch interceptors would be made by commanders at the battery in real time.
It was later announced that a second battery would be deployed in the Gush Dan region in the coming weeks.
Iron Dome is designed to defend against rockets at a range of 4-70 km. Each battery consists of a multi-mission radar manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries and three launchers, each equipped with 20 interceptors named Tamir.
Yaakov Katz contributed to this report