Brig. Gen. Danny Gold, head of Maf'at, decided that Israel needed a system of intercepting all the missiles. By 2007 Israel commissioned developing the anti-missile Iron Dome. They chose an Israeli contractor, Rafael. " The Israeli company, mPrest Systems, was put in charge of programming the core of Iron Dome's battle management system."
They designed it to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells fired from distances of 4 to 70 kilometers away. The trajectory would be taking them to a populated area in all weather conditions. This is Israel's defensive countermeasure to the rocket threat against Israel's civilian population on its northern and southern borders. Within 4 years is was combat ready. There was no system like this in the whole world. The people involved felt like a start-up business. This was a remarkably short period of time for a weapons system to be designed from scratch.
Funding for it came from the United States and Israel. They have invested nearly a million into the Iron Dome, and are willing to invest more, now as long as the USA can get the development rights to the weapon system. Right now they have no right to the technology involved.
To fire at one missile, it costs $40,000. It's expensive to use. It was first used on 27 March 2011 near Beersheba. By the 10 March 2011, it was successful in intercepting a Grad rocket launched from Gaza for the first time. On 10 March, 2012, it shot down 90% of rockets launched from Gaza it fired at. By April it had intercepted 93 rockets. Maybe that's why we haven't heard of rockets landing near Southern Israel's towns.
Rockets which look like they're going to land in unpopulated areas are ignored.
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