What is Israel’s Iron Dome defense system and how does it work

Israel’s Iron Dome defense system is a land-based system that intercepts and destroys short-range rockets and mortars. Since its introduction in 2011, it has become the mainstay of the country’s defence.

It is manned by missile-defense batteries that can defend against mortar attacks and rockets launched from Palestinian territories within approximately 40 miles of the battery. The batteries are mobile so they can be taken to wherever they are needed.

A radar unit detects the incoming rocket and sends information about its speed and trajectory to the battery’s control center. Computers in the control center calculate whether the rocket is going to hit populated areas or not. If so, one missile is fired from the launcher, which contains 20 interceptor missiles. Each receives continuous guidance updates from the control center in its internal radar. The missile explodes near the incoming rocket and destroys it. The goal is to divert it away from populated areas, thereby minimizing damage to the ground.

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