Sunday, June 14, 2015

14-Jun-15: Israel's anti-rocket defence system gets wider deployment

Taking cover on a road in Israel's Negev as incoming Gazan rocket
warning is heard, July 2014 [Image: Reuters]
Rockets being flung into the sky in the general direction of Israel might sound (if people hear about them at all) like a vague and trivial threat. The media repetition of how few Israelis, relative to the dead and injured on the Arab side, have been hurt reinforces that impression.

In reality, vast parts of southern Israel are under actual threat of attack by them right now. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis live in communities in those parts, and anxiety levels are running high. Relying on the good sense of the terrorists to avoid self-damaging escalation is generally perceived, based on overwhelming evidence, as not getting our side very far.

[Israeli S]ecurity officials decided last week to deploy four Iron Dome air defense system batteries in Ashdod, Netivot, Ashkelon and Beersheba... ["More Iron Dome batteries deployed in light of renewed rocket fire", Jerusalem Post, tonight]
According to an article that appeared last summer (see "15 things you didn't knw about the Iron Dome")
The cost of launching a missile from the Iron Dome at a threatening rocket has been reported to cost anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000 [while] the rockets fired by terror groups at Israel are estimated to cost between a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. 
A 2013 report in TIME Magazine looked at the cost on a per-battery basis:
At about $50 million per battery — the launchers with 20 missiles each, ground radar and command-and-control center, led by an officer equipped with an abort button — Iron Dome still costs plenty, especially since Israel estimates it would need at least 13 of them to protect the entire country.

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