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Iron Dome (כיפת ברזל)

Developers: Rafael Advanced Defense Systems; Elta; mPrest Systems

Target: Short-range rockets; Artillery/mortar shells (44 mile max range)

Missile: Tamir Interceptor with electro-optic sensors and numerous steering fins

Cost: Battery - $50 million; Missile - $50,000-$90,000

Components: Tracking Radar; Battle Management System; Missile Firing Unit

Firsts: Test- July 2009; Deployment- March 2011; Interception- April 2011

Successs Rate: Estimated 85% of interceptors struck target


Israel's first line of missile defense, designed to protect from short range rockets and mortars fired by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza and Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. The system has the capability to identify and destroy projectiles before they strike Israeli territory. One of the most advanced features of Iron Dome is its capability to determine where an incoming rocket will land, and to then only intercept projectiles that pose threats to populated areas. In March 2012, the Iron succeeded in its first combat test, when it intercepted more than 60 rockets fired by Hamas. In November 2012, during Operation Pillar of Defense, the Iron Dome intercepted 421 rockets fired from Gaza, an 84% success rate. Since 2010, the US has budgeted nearly $1 billion for Iron Dome batteries.

David's Sling (קלע דוד)

Developers: Rafael Advanced Defense Systems; Raytheon

Target: Medium- to long-range rockets (25-185 mile range)

Missile: Stunner Interceptor with electro-optical sensor & radar targeting system

Budget: $330 million from US government since 2006

Timetable: First test, Deployment, & Interception - November 2012


David's Sling was developed as a flexible, multipurpose weapon system capable of engaging aircraft as well as cruise, ballistic and guided missiles. Its Stunner interceptor missile is designed for land-based, maritime and airborne applications and is fitted with a dual-band imaging infrared and radio-frequency seeker, as well as a multi-pulse rocket motor enabling all-weather operation. David's Sling was designed to target incoming missiles during their terminal phase, unlike the Iron Dome which intercepts missiles at their highest trajectory. Its primary role will be to intercept medium- and long-range ballistic and guided rockets, such as the Iranian Fajr-5 and BM-25 as well as the Syrian M-600 and Yakhont supersonic cruise missile.

Arrow Theatre System (חֵץ)

Developers: Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI); Boeing

Target: Long-range conventional ballistic missiles; High-altitude nuclear warheads

Cost: $3 million per unit

Budget Allocation: $825 million from US since 2006; ~$300 million from Israel

Compontents: Interceptor; early-warning radar; command & control; launcher

Timetable: First deployment(Arrow2)- Oct 2000; First test(Arrow3)- Jan 2012


The Arrow is designed to give Israel a full theatre ballistic missile defense capability. The original versions (Arrow-1 & -2) were initially greenlit in 1988 and became operation in 2000 to protect against long-range conventional missiles. In August 2008, the US and Israel began production of the Arrow-3 which is comprised of an exoatmospheric interceptor and proportional navigation to directly target an incoming missile outside of the earth's atmosphere, thereby preventing collateral damage from impact with a nuclear warhead. The Arrow has a greater accuracy (99% kill rate) and a longer targeting range (missiles of over 600 miles). Currently, Israel has two Arrow-2 batteries deployed in the center of the country and may deploy an Arrow-3 by 2014.

Patriot Missile

Developers: Raytheon; Hughes; RCA

Target: High-Perfomance Aircraft; mid- and long-range tactical ballistic missiles

Missile: Surface-to-Air Interceptor (SAM)

Compontents: Stationary launcher; scanning radar; command & control center

Timetable: First deployment (US) - 1984; First Activity (Israel) - 1991


The Patriot missile system was first used in Israel during the Gulf War when Saddam Hussein fired Scud missiles at Israel and it had a 40% claimed success rate in shooting down incoming missiles. The Israeli government, however, was dissatisfied with the Patriot's performance and has worked to update the system. Israel will soon be phasing out the Patriot for the David's Sling. The upgraded versions, PAC-2 and -3, provide a more reliable and lethal capability to defeat advanced threats - including aircraft, tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and UAV's - in almost all operational combat environments. The newest Israeli version is set to replace the four-missile stationary launcher with a 16-missile launcher, which will make it better equiped to contend with a prolonged barrage of missiles. In 2006, Israel stationed a Patriot battery in Haifa to protect from Hezbollah rockets. Another was placed in the north during 2012.