ARMSTRONG: As missiles fly, a look at Israel’s Iron Dome interceptor

Michael Armstrong, Associate Professor of Operations Research in Brock’s Goodman School of Business, wrote a piece recently published in The Conversation about the Iron Dome, Israel’s rocket interceptor systems.

Armstrong writes:

After the American-led missile salvo against Syria comes a barrage of interception claims and counterclaims. Russia says Syrian air defences shot down most of the missiles. But the U.S. says all 105 cruise missiles reached their targets. That’s despite some 40 Syrian interceptors being fired.

Given this new missile interception controversy, it’s worth looking at another ongoing one. Newly-published research investigates the effectiveness of Israel’s Iron Dome rocket interceptor systems.

The Iron Dome arrives

Iron Dome began operating in Israel in 2011. The systems achieved international fame during the country’s 2012 and 2014 Gaza Strip conflicts. But they also triggered controversy about their true performance.

Each Iron Dome system includes a radar, computer and several launchers. The radar detects incoming rockets. The computer then estimates the impact points. If any rockets threaten valued targets, the launchers shoot them down.

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