The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

Iron Dome: a marginal factor in the next Lebanon war

Nick Blanford has a piece here on ONE of the main event question – is Iron Dome up to the challenge of the next war?

His answer, I think, is right on in the sense that he stresses the kill factor/rate is not the key thing for hizbullah – it is the tremendous cost of the anti missile system and the disruption+costs ratios that the missiles will wreck on Israel which is a huge problem/deterrent.

That said, I think he discounts the actual pain and suffering which the hizbullah set up can wreck EVEN WITH Iron Dome. Remember:

1) The system has preformed in only a VERY limited fashion – only FOUR SYSTEM will be online this month! – Plus the main issue is that there were reported technical malfunctions in ONLY four days of strikes with a far lower rate of fire than hizbullah would be able to bring to bear…. Think 33 days, 4 or even 8 expensive Iron Domes operating, then failing as they likely will during extended combat.

Bottom Line: Iron Dome is not likely to significantly change the short range rocket balance of power substantially.. it seems from the public literature/PR efforts – more likely is that it will have only a marginal effect on the balance of power/terror in the next conflict on this limited missile issue (short range).

Look at this from haaretz as well – only 70% of missiles which were on a trajectory to hit something meaningful were intercepted! NOT THE 90% originally reported.

That is a pretty bad success rate when facing off against a far less technically proficient force, worse rockets, and in a far smaller area, with a far shorter duration of conflict:

“…Altogether, about 300 rockets were fired into Israel during the recent hostilities. Of these, 56 were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system. Since Iron Dome only targets a fraction of the missiles fired – namely, those deemed likely to land in populated areas – that represents a success rate of over 70 percent….”

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Written by nickbiddlenoe

March 14, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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