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November 20, 2012

Israel's Iron Dome missile interceptor has 90% effectiveness and 75 kilometer range versus 80% and 15 kilometers last time

New Scientist - Until 17 November the system had a range of only 15 kilometres but a software upgrade fast-tracked over the weekend extended the range to 75 km, says Ben Goodlad, a defence analyst with IHS Jane's, the military data publisher based in Coulsdon, UK.

"It's very difficult to gauge its success rate as it depends how that is measured. How many interceptors are being fired to knock out one missile for instance?" says Goodlad. "But some say rates of between 87 and 90 per cent are being achieved in this Gaza conflict."

That's beats the expected 80 per cent success rate the US Congressional Research Service cites for the system during its test phase in a 7 November report to Congress.

"It's very difficult to gauge its success rate as it depends how that is measured. How many interceptors are being fired to knock out one missile for instance?" says Goodlad. "But some say rates of between 87 and 90 per cent are being achieved in this Gaza conflict."

That's beats the expected 80 per cent success rate the US Congressional Research Service cites for the system during its test phase in a 7 November report to Congress.





The system to destroy at least one Iranian-designed Fajr-5 missile headed for Tel Aviv. Although the Fajr-5 can reach Tel Aviv, about 70km away, most rockets coming out of the Gaza Strip are Qassam rockets, with ranges between 3 and 15 km. "They are very easy to produce, made of common day to day materials, but are quite unsophisticated, not guided in any way," says Goodlad.

As violence erupts once more in Israel and the Gaza Strip, new military technology is set to change how future conflicts will play out.

For the first time, a missile-defence system is working effectively. Nicknamed "Iron Dome", Israel's missile interceptor uses radar to identify rocket launches, track their trajectory and guide a Mach 2.2 missile to blow them up mid-air.

By noon on 19 November, 877 rockets were fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip, according to figures from the Israeli Defence Force, which claims to have downed 307 rockets on a dangerous trajectory.

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