Retired IDF Brigadier General Danny Gold, the man who invented the Iron Dome, being interviewed on Bloomberg TV. Photo: Screenshot.
Retired Israel Defense Forces Brigadier General Danny Gold, the man behind Israel’s Iron Dome that has been shooting down incoming Hamas rockets from Gaza, said the system was designed to be quickly updated to counter more advanced missiles in the future, according to an interview on Bloomberg TV on Thursday.
Gold said the Iron Dome benefits from a “robust design,” with system architecture that “can cope with future uncertainty,” if Hamas decides to launch more advanced weaponry at Israel, and that “changes will be fast.”
When Hamas launches a rocket salvo, a radar identifies each projectile once airborne, calculates its flight path, and marks those rockets most likely to hit populated areas or strategic assets for destruction, firing a Tamir interceptor missile at the target. Each Tamir is estimated to cost between $50,000 and $100,000. The Tamir’s cutting-edge on-board command and control system was developed by Imperest.
The batteries are connected to MRR radar systems developed by Elta Systems, an IAI subsidiary, which assembles them in Ashdod, the Israeli coastal city, along with Ashkelon and Sderot, closest to Gaza and that have received the brunt of Hamas’s rocket fire.
Gold said that while the Iron Dome has now become a core component of Israel’s defense capabilities, when he came up with the idea, military and political leaders were hesitant to offer their support for its development.
“It cannot be done,” he said they told him, with many thinking it would be another “15 to 20 years project.” Gold said that after the two years it took him to lobby for its $200 million in development costs, the actual time it took to go from idea to hardware was quick, although he pointed out the complexity of integrating the 15 major components involved. Integrating the complicated defense hardware was much harder than it would be for an iPhone app start-up tasked with a similar goal, he said.
Israel now has nine Iron Dome batteries installed and a 10th is slated for delivery next year. Israeli business daily Globes estimated that NIS 4.5 billion ($1.3 billion) has been spent on building and utilizing the Iron Dome, with the cost split between the Israeli government and the U.S., which contributed $200 million in 2011 and $480 million of a pledged $680 million for 2012.
The Iron Dome’s success rate has been estimated at 90 per cent.
Watch the Bloomberg TV interview of Danny Gold.
Source: The Algemeiner