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How Israel's Iron Dome defence system works to shield skies and destroy rockets

How Israel's Iron Dome defence system works to shield skies and destroy rockets

Israel's Iron Dome defence system first came in operation in 2011 and is playing a key role in the ongoing war.

The world has been rocked by the events currently taking place in the Middle East, something that has been brewing for many years now.

On Saturday (7 October), Hamas launched a range of rocket attacks, while fighters stormed into Israel in what is the biggest escalation since the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.

The large-scale offensive against Israel from the Gaza Strip saw troops breaking through the Gaza–Israel barrier and forcing entry into Gaza border crossings.

Entry was also gained into nearby Israeli cities, adjacent military installations, and civilian settlements - which has caused massive destruction.

A spokesperson for Israel says the country is "still at war ... still completing efforts to take full control of Israeli territory and communities from Hamas".

While Palestinian officials say that Israeli air strikes have killed at least 313 people in the Gaza Strip, with close to 2,000 wounded.

The Hamas attacks have sent shockwaves across the world.
Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty Images

Local media is also reporting that at least 500 Israelis have been killed since Hamas launched its attacks, while dozens are said to have been held hostage.

One piece of equipment that is playing a key part in the devastating war is Israel's Iron Dome defence system, which essentially works to shield the skies and destroy incoming rockets.

The rocket was developed by state-owned Rafael Advanced Defence Systems with US backing to counter rocket fire from Lebanon that hit Israeli towns during a 2006 war.

It was also made to help the Israelis against Hamas, becoming operational in 2011.

The system is equipped with missile-defence batteries capable of protecting Israelis against rocket attacks, with a radius of approximately 40 miles from the battery location.

These can be moved around to respond to ongoing threats, with the system using a radar to detect incoming projectiles.

The system can detect if an incoming missile is a threat to civilised areas, subsequently launching an interception rocket to destroy the incoming threat in the skies.

The system became operational in 2011.

Israel officials say the rocket is agile, while also being able to predict where debris from the impact of intercepting would fall.

Over the years, the Iron Dome has been praised for intercepting a significant number of rockets intended to cause destruction in Israel, subsequently saving countless lives in the process.

It has also been dubbed one of the most advanced missile defence systems on the planet for countering short-range threats.

In more recent years, a naval version of the Iron Dome has been deployed, protecting ships and sea-based assets since 2017.

Featured Image Credit: X/@no_itsmyturn/ Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Topics: World News, News, Israel