Israel’s Iron Dome has saved thousands of lives in recent days. Since Hamas terrorists launched a full-scale invasion, thousands of rockets have been launched at Israel, with hundreds of those rockets intercepted in mid-air by the Iron Dome’s smart missiles. 

Referred to as “Kippat Barzel” in Hebrew, Israel’s Iron Dome is one of the most dominant aerial defense systems in the world. Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, the creator of the Iron Dome, boasts a 90% success rate in intercepting aerial threats. 

What is the Iron Dome?

Israel’s highly effective aerial defense system was first established in 2011. At least 10 intelligent mobile missile batteries create the ‘Iron Dome’ that protects Israel. Each battery contains approximately 20 Tamir interceptor missiles and has a coverage range of about 2 miles to over 43 miles. 

The system has intercepted over 2,500 rockets and missiles since it was first built in 2011, with hundreds of Hamas rockets intercepted in the past few days. 

The Iron Dome is a system of mobile batteries comprised of advanced technology that can pick up lethal aerial threats on radar, compute the calculations needed to launch a rocket to intercept them, and then launch successful counter-attack measures. The batteries can be mounted on both land and naval platforms. 

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The intelligent design of the system allows for it to check the trajectory of the incoming ordinance and determine whether it will impact critical infrastructure or endanger Israelis. If it’s deemed a non-threat, the system will not launch a countermeasure. 

What is the difference between the Iron Dome and David’s Sling?

David’s Sling is like the Iron Dome’s younger brother, who grew up to be bigger and stronger. They belong to the same family of aerial defense systems defending Israel, including the Arrow Weapon System. Rafael created the Iron Dome but partnered with U.S.-based Raytheon to develop David’s Sling and create a majority of the interceptor missile components

While the Iron Dome is mobile and can intercept short to intermediate-range rockets and missiles, David’s Sling is a singular, stationary platform that can intercept aerial threats launched anywhere from 25 to 180 miles away. 

Both have an intelligent design that enables the systems to not launch if airplanes are in the path of the interceptor missile or the incoming aerial threat is not a threat to people or infrastructure. 


Q: What is the intercept success rate?

A: The Iron Dome boasts a 9 out of 10, or 90% success rate. 

Q: What missiles does the Iron Dome use?

A: Tamir missiles. Each missile costs approximately $100,000, but some sources report the cost ranging from $20,000 to $100,000. The total cost for a full battery is approximately $100 million.

Q: What is the estimated stockpile of Iron Dome interceptors?

A: The exact numbers are unclear, but Israel recently requested more Tamir missiles to keep up with the incoming Hamas rockets. 

Q: How “intelligent” is the Iron Dome system? 

A: It’s impressive. The system can calculate incoming threat trajectories and counters only if a lethal or catastrophic effect will happen upon impact. 

Q: Is the Iron Dome system used anywhere outside of Israel?

A: Whether it is in use elsewhere is unverified, but Rafael Advanced Defense Systems built and delivered two batteries to the U.S. Army. 

Q: Is David’s Sling in use within Israel or anywhere else in the world? 

A: David’s Sling is used in Israel and can be used in conjunction with the Iron Dome. 

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