Over the weekend, Israeli defense officials approved the deployment of an Iron Dome anti-rocket battery to a community near Ashkelon, Israel. This measure is a response to the recent escalation in rocket fire emanating from the Gaza Strip.
Since the month of July, terrorists operating in the Gaza Strip launched 30 rockets and three grad rockets into Israel. On Monday, a Gaza rocket landed in the outskirts of Ashkelon and moderately injured an Israeli woman. The year 2011 saw an increase in rocket attacks—340 rockets and mortars fired from Gaza hit dozens of Israeli southern communities.
Responding to short-range rockets and mortar shells
The Iron Dome system was designed as a response to the threats Israel faces from short-range rockets and mortar shells. The system has the capability to identify and destroy such projectiles before they land in Israeli territory. It has the capability to determine where an incoming projectile will land and only intercepts projectiles that pose meaningful threats.
The Iron Dome system is comprised of three components: the design and tracking radar, built by the Elta defense company; the battle management and weapon control system, designed by the mPrest Systems software company; and the missile firing unit, manufactured by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.