Tony Greenstein | 17 March 2013 | Post Views:

Success of Israel’s Iron Dome defensive shield questioned


Published Thursday, Nov. 29 2012, 8:47 PM EST

Israel’s sophisticated and expensive anti-missile Iron Dome was hailed for intercepting hundreds of crude but deadly incoming rockets fired from Gaza in the latest flare-up of fighting. But some independent missile analysts, including one who called out the Pentagon for similarly extravagant success claims for Patriot anti-missile systems during the Persian Gulf war, question Israel’s claim of a “kill” rate approaching 90 per cent.

Rockets lunched by Palestinian militants towards Israel make their way from the northern Gaza Strip, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. The Israeli military says its “Iron Dome” rocket-defence system has shot down an incoming projectile bound for Tel Aviv.

Nov. 15, 2012
The Iron Dome defense system fires to intercept incoming missiles from
Gaza in the port town of Ashdod.  (Tsafrir Abayov / AP)

“Initially, I drank the Kool-Aid on Iron Dome, just as initially I did with the Patriots,” said Theodore Postol, a physicist and missile-defence expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It was Prof. Postol who, during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, debunked Pentagon claims that its Patriot anti-missile system was successfully shooting down Iraqi Scud missiles.

“I’m skeptical. I suspect it is not working as well as the Israelis are saying … but there is great value in the strategic deception” in claiming very high success rates, Prof. Postol said in an interview. Although hard evidence is scanty, he pointed to the absence of secondary blasts – indicating the interceptor warhead exploded but did not ignite the incoming missile – and, more importantly, the lack of damage evident on missile carcasses recovered in Israel and filmed by the media.

If the missiles launched from Gaza were being intercepted – blasted out of the sky rather than falling short of exploding harmlessly – the wreckage should bear the telltale scars of punctures caused by tiny rods blasted from the Iron Dome interceptor warheads, he said.

Even experts who believe Iron Dome performed impressively question whether it could cope with a better-armed adversary capable of firing missiles from military launchers, not holes in the ground and cobbled-together launchers in the backs of trucks as is the case in Gaza.

Ben Goodlad, a senior analyst specializing in missile-defence systems at HIS Jane’s in London, said Iron Dome “performed very, very well and clearly it reduced the number of Israeli casualties.” Using the latest Israeli Defence Forces figures of 481 successful intercepts and only 81 rockets fired from Gaza that got through, Mr. Goodlad said the success rate was about 84 per cent.

But he questioned whether the system could cope with waves of incoming missiles, and said the still-new Iron Dome system was firing multiple interceptors – “sometimes two or three” – against a single incoming rocket, a tactic that could skew its efficacy rate if multiple and expensive interceptors were needed to ensure success.

Most of the rockets fired from Gaza are crude, relatively slow and cost only a few hundred dollars. “The rockets being launched [by Hamas] are pretty substandard munitions,” said George Stejic, president of Tesla Laboratories, Inc., which has commissioned an investigation into Iron Dome’s effectiveness. “Israel has every reason to overexaggerate the efficiency of Dome, just as we did with Patriots during Desert Storm,” he said.

Richard Lloyd, the missile-system expert conducting the investigation for Tesla, said his preliminary findings echoed Prof. Postol’s doubts. There are few demonstrable examples of incoming rockets intercepted by Iron Dome and showing the sort of telltale damage that would be obvious if they have been blasted by the spray of rod-like pellets from an Iron Dome’s warhead, he said.

Posted in

Tony Greenstein


  1. Gert on 18/03/2013 at 9:06pm

    The bigger question is: if Iron Dome was perfected to a 100 % kill rate [of incoming stovepipe ‘missiles’] would Israel’s then near 100 % waterproof ‘national security system’ make it more amenable to ‘concessions’ and less prone to cackling about ‘Auschwitz borders’? I think not.

  2. Anonymous on 18/03/2013 at 9:27pm

    Is there no limit to your depravity Greenstein . You would welcome , indeed gloat over the perceived failure of the Iron Dome anti missile system designed specifically to prevent the wanton slaughter of Israeli civilians by your Palestinian friends . No doubt you and your fellow ghouls would like nothing better than to see the effects of just one such intercept failure .

  3. Tony Greenstein on 18/03/2013 at 9:28pm

    It seems that our anonymous Zionist (Harvey Garfield?) is unable to read, which must make driving a taxi somewhat difficult. The Iron Dome isn’t designed to ‘prevent wanton slaughter’ as the rockets from Gaza are little more than pea shooters. It is designed to give Israel immunity from incoming attacks in order that they can bombard, murder, drop white phosphorous on schools, whilst knowing they are immune.
    As such of course I welcome its failure, it is part of an offensive military structure designed to increase (Palestinian) civilians. However our incoherent Zionist is unable to see beyond the meaning he draws from every manifestation of support for the Zionists.

  4. Nick on 18/03/2013 at 11:14pm

    Again Greenstein things that people are stupid.
    "Since 2006 Hamas has fired 122mm Grad rockets, copies made in Iran, and Eastern-bloc versions modified to expand their range and lethality, into Israel. Some of the rockets were of a Chinese Grad variant. Hamas sources said they were pleased by the performance of the Chinese variants of the BM-21 Grad rocket, which demonstrated a far greater range and blast impact In November 2012 during Operation Pillar of Defense, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad fired Fajr-5 rockets towards Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. One hit an apartment block in Rishon LeZion"
    Fajr-5 175 kg (Warhead)has a range of 75 kilometers.
    "he rockets from Gaza are little more than pea shooters"…….
    You are Pathetic, who are you trying to fool.

  5. Anonymous on 19/03/2013 at 12:17am

    As such of course I welcome its failure, it is part of an offensive military structure designed to increase (Palestinian) civilians .

    At least you managed to get something right . Prat !

  6. Tony Greenstein on 19/03/2013 at 12:47am

    Well at least our Zionist prat accepts that the Iron Dome is part of an offensive, not defensive, military structure, so of course I welcome its failure.

    I'm pleased to hear from Nick that the pea-shooters have been upgraded however they are no match for state of the art American supplies

  7. Anonymous on 19/03/2013 at 10:37am

    No Greenstein
    What I was agreeing was the increase in (Palestinian )civilians Comment by you . So much for ethnic cleansing .
    You confirm you welcome Iron Dome failure with all that entails ie death of innocent civilians . You tick all the right boxes .

  8. Gert on 19/03/2013 at 1:48pm


    Only the Zionist Entity is allowed tons and tons of highly effective offensive weapons, including at least 200 nuclear warheads, is allowed to use them at will in ‘self defence’, no matter how much ‘collateral damage’ they cause (and there is no ‘collateral damage’ because the AOF has the bestest shooters and is the most moral army in the world anyway). The ZE is, using its own parlance, allowed to ‘strike far and wide’, other ‘democracies’ aren’t allowed this extra-judicial luxury. Those are the rules, all in the name of the Holocaust.

  9. Tony Greenstein on 20/03/2013 at 12:22am

    I just love these anonymous Zionists.

    Apparently I have a sociopathic etc. personality for wishing the death of innocent civilians.

    Presumably anon. deplores the possession by Israel of nuclear weapons, the only state in the Middle East to do so, which would indeed make Hamas/Gazan weapons seem like pea shooters, not even that, candy floss machines.

    But I suspect that the violence of the aggressor and the death of Palestinians is of no concern to him.

  10. hotazhell on 20/03/2013 at 9:49pm

    Diehard zios are so anti social and shill for the usurping zio entity from afar. They have no concern for the plight of Palestinians languishing in refugee camps, just for their insane pipe dream. suc indoctrination.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.