IRON DOME AIR DEFENCE SYSTEM: ISRAEL
In the conflict between Israel and Palestine, both sides have taken to air strikes and rocket attacks. Videos on social media showed rockets fired from Gaza being intercepted by the Israeli Iron Dome air defence system. It appeared that the rockets were hitting an invisible shield.
MORE ABOUT IRON DOME
It is a short-range, ground-to-air, air defence system that includes a radar and Tamir interceptor missiles that track and neutralise any rockets or missiles aimed at Israeli targets.
It is used for countering rockets, artillery & mortars (C-RAM) as well as aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles.
Origin – The genesis of the Iron Dome goes back to the 2006 Israeli-Lebanon war, when the Hezbollah fired thousands of rockets into Israel.
o The following year, Israel announced that its state-run Rafae l Advance Systems would come up with a new air
defence system to protect its cities and people. It was developed with Israel Aerospace Industries.
o The Iron Dome was deployed in 2011. While Rafael claims a success rate of over 90%, with more than 2,000 interceptions.
o The Iron Dome has three main systems that work together to provide a shield over the area where it is deployed, handling multiple threats.
o It has a detection and tracking radar to spot any incoming threats, a battle management and weapon control system (BMC), and a missile firing unit. The BMC basically liaises between the radar and the interceptor missile.
o It is capable of being used in all weather conditions, including during the day and night.
o When passing within ten metres of the target, this activates and blasts the missile with shrapnel that destroys the target.
o S-400 air defence systems from Russia – India has S-400 TRIUMF, which also caters to the three threats (rockets, missiles and cruise missiles). But they have much longer range.
o While India is continent-sized, Israel is smaller and has to deal with threats that are relatively close around it
o Prithvi Air Defence and Advance Air Defence – It is a double-tiered system consisting of two land and sea-based interceptor missiles, namely the Prithvi Air Defence (PAD) missile for high altitude interception, and the Advanced Air Defence (AAD) Missile for lower altitude interception.
Range – It is able to intercept any incoming missile launched 5,000 kilometres away. The system also includes an overlapping network of early warning and tracking radars, as well as command and control posts.
o Ashwin Advanced Air Defence Interceptor Missile – It is also an indigenously produced Advanced Air Defence (AAD) interceptor missile developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
It is the advanced version of the low altitude supersonic ballistic interceptor missile.
The missile also has its own mobile launcher, secure data link for interception, independent tracking and homing capabilities and sophisticated radars.
Range -It uses an endo-spheric (within the Earth’s atmosphere) interceptor that knocks out ballistic missiles at a maximum altitude of 60,000 to 100,000 feet, and across a range between 90 and 125 miles.