Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system continues to improve, a fact Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza won’t be happy to hear. The news comes via the National Post, which interviewed a senior engineer with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, the Israeli company that developed Iron Dome.
“Soon,” writes the National Post, “the engineer hopes, the system’s reliability will be limited only by the mechanical reliability of its various component parts. As long as the equipment works, they expect to hit their target every time.”
Israel’s recent conflict with Hamas was a perfect opportunity to work out the Iron Dome’s kinks. “We expected it to work perfectly,” the engineer told the National Post.“We knew it wouldn’t, of course. But we wanted it to work 100% of the time. And every day, we tried to make it better.”
Though exact figures are classified, the engineer, quoting Wikipedia, told the National Post that “Of those 500 [rockets] that were a threat, we shot down over 400 of them.” Several other media sources have put the percentage at around 85% of all rockets headed towards populated areas being shot down. Israel allows any rockets headed towards desolate areas to remain on their trajectory.
As the National Post explains, every day of the conflict, military officers gave Rafael Advanced Defense Systems all of the data collected by Iron Dome computers and military radars for the last 24 hours. Rafael engineers would then work through the night, tweaking the software that controls Iron Dome. They’d turn the new software over to the military officers at the next meeting, then repeat the process.
The efforts proved fruitful. “The improvements were measurable,” the engineer told the National Post. “It wasn’t dramatic. But we did a little bit better every day. The more rockets they fired at us, the better we got at shooting them down. By the end of the week, Iron Dome was better than it had been at the start. And it was pretty good, then, too.”