Sunday, March 29, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Israel’s ‘Iron Dome’ changes the face of battle

By
From page A13 | July 11, 2014 |

JERUSALEM — Israel’s “Iron Dome” defense system has emerged as a game-changer in the current round of violence with Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, shooting down dozens of incoming rockets and being credited with preventing numerous civilian casualties.

By shooting down more than 90 percent of its targets, the system is ensuring Israel’s decisive technological edge that has helped it operate virtually unhindered in Gaza.

At the same time, it’s also providing a much-needed sense of security on the home front.

Gaza militants have fired hundreds of rockets into Israel, some more than 100 kilometers (60 miles) deep, covering an area of about 5 million. But beyond some jitters and discomfort, they haven’t hurt Israelis much, causing no casualties and very little damage.

“The Iron Dome system and its impressive success thus far have had a strategic impact on managing the campaign. It gives us wide options,” said Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon. “Having said that, we cannot become complacent.”

Israel has deployed seven batteries across the country that — coupled with a high-tech warning system — have given it its best defensive capabilities ever.

Iron Dome quickly recognizes the trajectory of incoming rockets and whether they are headed for major population centers. Those are shot down, while others are allowed to fall in empty fields to spare the hefty cost of firing the sophisticated interceptors. Local reports say each launching costs about $20,000.

So far, Hamas and other Gaza militants have fired more than 420 rockets toward Israel in three days of fighting. The military says it has shot down 90 of those, including several over Tel Aviv and central Israel.

On Thursday afternoon, the system was deployed for the first time in Jerusalem. Two puffs of smoke could be seen in the sky — apparently after intercepting two incoming rockets.

Lt. Col. Levi Itach, head of the military’s early warning branch, said several high-tech measures along with a disciplined public that has vigilantly followed instruction have allowed Israel to keep its casualties from rockets to a minimum.

He said the systems had improved significantly in the two years since the last major exchange of airstrikes and rocket fire between Israel and Hamas, in which six Israelis were killed and several were injured by Gaza rocket fire in that weeklong battle.

The system is still far from foolproof. On Thursday, rockets struck a home in the southern city of Beersheba and a car in Ashdod — incidents that easily could have resulted in casualties.

Itach said no system could provide 100 percent protection.

“If we keep up what we are doing, there is a good chance that we will be able to lower the ratio to one death for every 10,000 rockets fired,” he said.

Yossi Kuperwasser, a retired military general and current director general of Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, said that Gaza’s Hamas rulers and other militants have acquired longer, more powerful weapons in the past two years, but Israel had not been idle either. He said improvements to Iron Dome have allowed it to hold off on a ground operation while the home front was protected.

“It gives us much more room to maneuver. … Now we have the ability to hold our breath for some time,” he said. “And I’m sure that Hamas is feeling frustrated with this situation because after launching hundreds of rockets, they haven’t managed to get Israeli casualties.”

Newspapers have already crowned the U.S.-funded system as the star of the campaign. The front page of Yediot Ahronot carried the headline “Golden Dome,” with a huge spread of the system in action. The paper’s top military columnist, Alex Fishman, wrote that the Iron Dome has “changed the face of the battle.”

“If not for the Iron Dome system, the entire military would have already been stuck in the Gaza Strip. It is already possible to reflect on the main lesson of Operation Protective Edge: we must not stop investing in the Iron Dome system,” he wrote.

Iron Dome is just the first of a planned three-part defense system that Israel hopes will be operational by the end of the year.

It has successfully tested “Magic Wand,” designed to intercept projectiles with ranges between 70 kilometers (45 miles) and 300 kilometers (180 miles), and is aimed primarily at countering the large arsenal of Hezbollah rockets in Lebanon and those of President Bashar Assad’s government in Syria.

Together with the Arrow system for longer-range threats from Iran, the three components will complete what Israel calls its “multilayer missile defense.”

The next generation of the Arrow, now in the development stage, is set to be deployed in 2016. Called Arrow 3, it is designed to intercept missiles at very high altitudes, before they are on their downward path toward their target. Together, the two Arrow systems would provide two chances to strike down incoming missiles.

Just this week, President Barack Obama cited the systems as proof of the U.S. commitment to Israel’s security.

“Across the board, our unprecedented security cooperation is making Israel safer and American investments in Israel’s cutting-edge defense systems like the Arrow interceptor system and Iron Dome are saving lives,” he wrote.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 2 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • John AndersonJuly 11, 2014 - 6:53 am

    Funny- the USA paid for Israel's "Iron Dome"....yet we don't have one. Well, you know who controls Congress.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895July 11, 2014 - 10:46 pm

    We don't? Where did you get that information?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Vanden High library project nears completion

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Vanden girls end stellar season

By Brian Arnold | From Page: C1 | Gallery

Cheers for Jupiter – and roller derby

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
Vacaville police make arrest after pursuit

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Red Cross volunteers help assemble first aid kits

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
PG&E helps replace stolen equipment

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3

Justin-Siena names new principal

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3

 
Free paper shredding option returns to Fairfield

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Vacaville bridal, quinceanera show a hit

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

Event benefits child who attends Cambridge School

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Best barometer of investment success: Wealth

By Mark Sievers | From Page: B8

Hike in minimum wage cuts deep into businesses

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B8

 
Tips on hydrozoning your garden

By Tina Saravia | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

 
Fairfield police log: March 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: March 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

Gang chief, international fugitive among dozens paroled

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Experts: Sex bias case will embolden women despite verdict

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Crash victim’s father calls for more focus on pilot welfare

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Man rescued after falling 200 feet off California sea cliff

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Popular Yosemite National Park lookout opens early in season

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Eiffel Tower goes dark in symbolic move for Earth Hour

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Bird flu found in a top Minnesota turkey producing county

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Some British Airways frequent flier accounts miles breached

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

7 shot and injured at Florida spring break house party

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Boko Haram kills 39, legislator, disrupting Nigeria election

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Official: Al-Shabab siege at Somali hotel ends, 24 dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Hundreds rally against Indiana law, say it’s discriminatory

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Islamic fighters led by al-Qaida in Syria seize major city

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
.

Opinion

Thanks for making prom dreams come true

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Free speech a right worth protecting

By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

Liberty, property rights 2 sides of same coin

By Brian Thiemer | From Page: A8

 
Sound Off: March 29, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
Improve Allan Witt Park; how about rest of Fairfield?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

.

Living

Today in History: March 29, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: March 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Pope finds popularity and dissent at 2-year mark

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Truth does not change

By The Rev. Art Zacher | From Page: C3

Horoscopes: March 29, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B8

 
Daughter choses stepdad over father to walk her down the aisle

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B8

.

Entertainment

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Second Julie Andrews memoir expected in 2017

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Chrissie Hynde memoir coming in September

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

.

Sports

 
Warriors beat Bucks 108-95, clinch top seed in West

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Wisconsin heads to Final Four after 85-78 win over Arizona

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Burns scores winner in SO to lift Sharks past Flyers, 3-2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Power leads Penske sweep in qualifying for IndyCar opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Revolution win first of season, beating Earthquakes 2-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Jenest pitches SCC baseball team to shutout of Contra Costa

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

AP sources: Texas fires coach Barnes after 17 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kazmir, Quintana both strong; A’s beat White Sox 10-4

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Zunino homers twice, but Giants rally to edge Mariners 9-8

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Gordon, Earnhardt among the winners and fans of Martinsville

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Prince Bishop wins Dubai World Cup, California Chrome 2nd

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Serena Williams easily wins opening match at Miami Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Jimmy Walker leads hometown Texas Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
.

Business

A glance at women in leadership roles in business worldwide

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
For business, more women in charge means bigger profits

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

US drillers scrambling to thwart OPEC threat

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Test trial to use computer servers to heat homes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B14

.

Obituaries

Robert Roberts

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Janice Jewel Thompson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Betty Mason

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Tiffany Lyn (Helzer) Kemp

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Richard F. Coleman

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
James Lee Lewis

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Helen Kalis

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Carol A. Vose

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics