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Iron Dome system: The invisible shield protecting Israel from Hamas rockets

Days after the violent conflict between Israel and Palestine turned into a full-blown confrontation with massive airstrikes and rockets being propelled from both sides, what has emerged as one of the biggest attractions is the Iron Dome system.

The shield which has defended Israeli airspace from a barrage of rockets propelled by Hamas and Palestinian security forces is being talked about globally and several videos have gone viral on social media.

At the centre of the violent confrontation is the Al-Aqsa mosque considered to be the third holiest site in Islam but hold equal importance for jews, who call it Temple Mount.

What is Iron Dome system?

The Iron- Dome is a short-range ground-to-air defence system that comprises of a Tamir interceptor and a radar that tracks and destroys any missile or airborne system that enters Israeli airspace. The system is used by Tel-Aviv in countering, rockets, missile launchers, artillery, and mortars from enemy targets. The system can equally intercept unwanted helicopters, aircraft, or UAVs that enter the airspace without permission.

The Iron Dome was deployed in 2011 nearly six years after it was first announced by the Israeli government following the 2006 Israeli-Lebanon war during which Hezbollah had fired thousands of rockets into Israel.

Also Read: Hamas hits deep in Israel, which vows to keep pummelling Gaza

According to Rafale Advanced Defence Systems, which developed the Dome jointly with Israel Aerospace Industries, “Iron Dome is a multi-purpose combat-proven system that detects, assesses and intercepts incoming artillery such as C-RAM, cruise missiles, precise guided missiles (PGM), UAVs, Air Breathing Threats (ABTs) and dense salvos.”

The Iron Dome family

Apart from intercepting incoming air salvos, the Iron Dome also has I-Dome, an all-in-one mobile version, on a single truck, providing protection for motorised or mechanised troops, as well as point air defense for military, industrial and administrative installations. Meanwhile, its naval version C-Dome protects ships and other sea-based strategic assets.

Rafale has claimed a 90 per cent success rate with over 2000 interceptions with all-weather capability and functioning both day and night. Meanwhile, Sky Hunter is the US version of the Iron Dome system which has been developed jointly by Raytheon and Rafael.

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