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Iron Dome Air Defence System: Israel

  • 13 May 2021
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Israel used its Iron Dome air defence system in recent violent clashes over Jerusalem.

Key Points

  • About:
    • It is a short-range, ground-to-air, air defence system that includes a radar and Tamir interceptor missiles that track and neutralise any rockets or missiles aimed at Israeli targets.
    • It is used for countering rockets, artillery & mortars as well as aircraft, helicopters and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV).
      • It is capable of being used in all weather conditions, including during the day and night.
    • It was developed by the state-run Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries and was deployed in 2011.
    • Rafael claims a success rate of over 90%, with more than 2,000 interceptions, however experts agree the success rate is over 80%.
    • It can protect deployed and manoeuvring forces, as well as the Forward Operating Base (FOB) and urban areas, against a wide range of indirect and aerial threats.
  • Components:
    • The Iron Dome has three main systems that work together to provide a shield over the area where it is deployed which are:
    • Radar: It has a detection and tracking radar to spot any incoming threats.
    • Weapon Control: It has a battle management and weapon control system (BMC),
    • Missile Fire: It also has a missile firing unit. The BMC basically liaises between the radar and the interceptor missile.

  • Indian Alternatives:
    • S-400 TRIUMF:
      • About:
        • India has S-400 TRIUMF, which also caters to the three threats (rockets, missiles and cruise missiles). But they have much longer range.
        • It has a much larger air defence bubble to knock off threats.
        • It is a mobile, surface-to-air missile system (SAM) designed by Russia.
      • Range & Effectiveness:
        • The system can engage all types of aerial targets within the range of 400km, at an altitude of up to 30km.
        • The system can track 100 airborne targets and engage six of them simultaneously.
    • Prithvi Air Defence and Advance Air Defence:
      • About:
        • It is a double-tiered system consisting of two land and sea-based interceptor missiles, namely the Prithvi Air Defence (PAD) missile for high altitude interception, and the Advanced Air Defence (AAD) Missile for lower altitude interception.
      • Range:
        • It is able to intercept any incoming missile launched 5,000 kilometres away. The system also includes an overlapping network of early warning and tracking radars, as well as command and control posts.
    • Ashwin Advanced Air Defence Interceptor Missile:
      • About:
        • It is also an indigenously produced Advanced Air Defence (AAD) interceptor missile developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
        • It is the advanced version of the low altitude supersonic ballistic interceptor missile.
        • The missile also has its own mobile launcher, secure data link for interception, independent tracking and homing capabilities and sophisticated radars.
      • Range:
        • It uses an endo-spheric (within the Earth’s atmosphere) interceptor that knocks out ballistic missiles at a maximum altitude of 60,000 to 100,000 feet, and across a range between 90 and 125 miles.

Source: IE

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