24 thoughts on “Iron Dome Fails to Intercept Rockets Fired from Lebanon into Northern Israel – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. The main problem with Iron Dome seems to be the algorithm by which the interceptor missile is guided into the incoming warhead’s path at the last moment.

    It might be possible to get artillery rockets to pitch and yaw a bit as they fly, so they spiral around the intended line of motion. This wouldn’t necessarily materially change the point of impact on an area target (Hezbollah are happy if they hit a town) but it could defeat Iron’s Dome’s last moment interception strategy.

    This may have been an experiment in seeing how much destabilisation could be induced on an artillery rocket and still have it go to broadly the right place.

    With somebody in Syria having access to fresh and potent sarin or very similar, the problem needs to be fixed, or something better obtained.

    It’s also possible that Iron Dome’s control software may filter out wobbly rockets as less threatening and not actually engage them, which with chemical warheads wouldn’t necessarily be true.

  2. Even if missile defense was 100% accurate, missiles would still get through. All the attacker would have to do is outnumber the number of missiles held in the Iron Dome unit magazine. Even so, look at the finances. A cheap missile costing, I don’t know, $1000 versus an Iron Dome missile cost of what, $10,000, $100,000, $500,000? It is a good job for Israel that the US is picking up the tab.

  3. I am quite certain that even if the Iron Dome had an unlimited number of missiles, in an unbiased flow of incoming rockets, the interception success rate of the Iron Dome would probably hit below 5 %. It is pretty much a useless system, in the capabilities of hitting the payload/warhead and in defending the sky against a shower of missiles. Iron Dome should be called the Iron Joke, a very expensive joke.

    1. They should rename it the “Benyamin Netanyahu (Nutandyahoo)’s Magical Mystery Tour” or something equally idiotic/silly to reflect how the thing’s turned out in the real world.

      Seriously, I would pay to see the expressions of those who foisted it as the “ultimate defence” (besides wholesale “defensive” assaults with artillery and heavy weapons on ghettoes or other countries) when they found out that they might have to eat their words.

  4. “Missile defense” has never been about intercepting missiles: it is about transferring money to the military-industrial complex. It is a racket from start to finish.

  5. All those speculations & claims of the trio: Pedhatuzer, Shefer and Ted Postol were refuted answered and dismissed
    1. Uzi Rubin in a London & Kirshenbaum interview – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmbJO3DEbUM
    2. Shefer is a long The post thread, kept alive for 3 months here http://www.thepost.co.il/news/new.aspx?Pn6VQ=E&0r9VQ=IELI
    3. Prof. Postol gave an interview 4 months ago, in the interview he promised to release more information, the additional information was never released.

    1. If I recall correctly, Uzi Rubin is one of the creators of Iron Dome. As such, a TV interview with someone who has a vested interest in finding that Iron Dome works is hardly probitive. As for anything publishing in a Jerusalem Post publication, I’m afraid this won’t do for credibility either.

      How do you know Prof. Postol never published anything further? Have you contacted him and asked? And even if he didn’t, the material that he did publish was persuasive. As persuasive as the material that proved that the Patriot missile system used during the first Iraq War didn’t work either.

      In response to your second comment, you ought to go back & read what Postol wrote. He didn’t say the success rate was 0. He said it was 5% and that it was possible it was as low as 0. But at least he did acknowledge some possibility of hitting something once in a while.

      As for the reasons for failure of the Iron Dome system in this incident: you’re arguing that because Iron Dome didn’t fire at the 3 rockets that it somehow succeeded. Which makes no sense whatsoever. Your further argument appears to be that HAD Iron Dome it would have intercepted the rockets. Which is something you’re expecting us to accept at face value, which we won’t. You first have to explain the system’s failure to fire at the 3 missiles. That’ll be interesting to read.

      You clearly have a dog in this fight & it would be good to know something about your bona fides so that we may judge your credibility.

      1. A. You recall incorrectly, Uzi Rubin was one of the developers of the Arrow system and the first manager of the “Wall Administration” the administration that heads the development of few anti missile defense project’s, but never worked on the Iron Dome.

        B. Dr. Moti Shefer has been an advocate for a different type defense system for years, which explains his critique. Prof Postol has some moral issues with missile defense and thinks that “”Missile defense is ultimately an immoral thing to do,” Postol says.” Which explains his critique. (http://tinyurl.com/lppyjnm) & Pedhatzur lacks any understanding or academic background in the subject (that’s if you want to argue that a nuclear physicist and missile scientist are the same)

        C. My argument which you failed to understand is simple. During pillar of defense Hamas admitted to firing about 1500 (i think the number is 1580 / 1550) rockets onto Israel. We know that Hamas success rate is about 30% (30% fails, 40% aims at open spaces an 30% success rate = firing into Israeli cities) against which the Iron Dome launch it’s interceptors. We saw two days ago that when Iron Dome fails and the rocket is aimed properly the Rocket falls within the boundaries of an Israeli community and creates some damage.

        5% of 500 is 25. If Hamas accuracy / success rate is 30% and Irone Dome success rate is 5% that means that during pillar of defense there should have been 475 Rockets that hit inside Israeli’s cities. where are the Rockets ? where are the marks on the ground ? where is the damage ? All 475 rockets evaporated ? if all 475 Rockets evaporated then Iron Dome is the best system ever.

        D. Pedhatzur claims that the Israeli police reported on 109 Rockets that hit the ground in different locations ( which is a complete distortion of what the police claims) let’s accept it as Gospel for the sake of debate. if 500 Rockets were targeting urban territories (iron dome doesn’t launch if it’s radar projects the Rocket will hit an open space) and Iron Dome launched an interceptor to intercept them, according to Pedhatzur the ID success rate is 21.8%.

        The only problem with the above is that the police reported it handled 109 calls that had to do with rockets. for example if the Iron Dome intercepts a Rocket and one Shrapnel falls and damages car 1 parked on street A and another falls and damages car 2 parked on street B the police will be called twice for two separate complaints. One Rocket creates multiple calls to the police. Why ? mostly for the sake of compensation and involvement of the Israeli Tax authorities.

        In short the claims by this trio is pure nonsense.

        1. * TO correct my error.

          The success rate according to the numbers presented by Pedhatzur is 79.2%, 21.8% is the percentage of rockets fired that hit the ground.

        2. @H. Mor: All of this is insider spin. The main issues are (and you’ve refused to respond to one of them despite my request that you do so): why did Iron Dome fail this week? Second, if Iron Dome was successful during Operation ‘Up in Smoke,’ why doesn’t the IDF present evidence of it? It can do this in many ways including offering video evidence. But it doesn’t do so. If it wishes to persuade me or any other reasonable observer it will have to do so or have its claims questioned or denied.

          1. “why did Iron Dome fail this week”

            You aren’t serious are you ? You expect people to discuss operational factors on your website ? The only answer i can give you is that Iron Dome didn’t fail. You should distinguish between a failed interception in which an interceptor was launched and missed to the scenario that occurred last which in which interceptors weren’t launched.

            As for your question, The IDF will not and doesn’t need to accommodate self appointed biased critiques who have no ability to understand what they see.

            If you want to discuss evidence you can compare Pillar of Defense to desert storm. During DS each time a patriot missile missed during interception a SCUD missile hit the ground, the impact was documented. Where are the rockets that hit the ground during Pillar of Defense ?

            None of those who offer criticism provided any answer to that simple question. as Jerry McGuire shouted “Show me the rockets”.

            In short, nonsense.

          2. @H. Mor: I’m deadly serious. Look, you expect us to believe that Iron Dome is a raging success but refuse to offer any concrete evidence for its success. That simply won’t wash. The world (unlike many Israelis) doesn’t accept your boasts at face value. And yes, the IDF does need to prove its claims. If it doesn’t it’s either lying or spinning or both.

            So once again, why did Iron Dome fail to fire at the rockets that hit Israel? Until you explain this you’re nothing more than an empty hasbara suit. Sorry as well, but an anti-missile system that fails to fire at missiles streaming toward Israeli territory has failed. You don’t get to say it succeeded merely because it didn’t miss the missiles. It didn’t fire when it should have. That’s FAILURE.

            As for “nonsense,” your empty claims qualify on that score. As for Jerry McGuire, “show me” the evidence. Till I see it, you’re wasting your time & breath.

          3. You can call me any names you want (show’s the “depth” of your arguments)
            One thing you can’t do: Show me a large number of rockets that fell onto Israeli cities. I Suggest that if you have any contacts with Postol / Pedhatzur you’ll ask them to come and answer that simple question.
            You my friend, are simply boring.

          4. He has provided you with facts and evidence to support his assessment of the Iron Dome.

            You provide us mostly with manipulation and propaganda, and now shamefully, when all your arguments are depleted, throwing ad-hominems at Richard.

          5. Sorry, I misread your comment in haste.

            Yes, they consider what I say “propaganda,” like actual rockets landing inside Israel & damaging actual buildings which Iron Dome failed to intercept. Without even a word of explanation or justification from these military industrial complex apologists. Nor I might add any explanation of their credentials, bona fides or interest in the subject. I want them all to expose their connections to Rafael, Iron Dome, the IDF or any agents working on their behalf. Until they do so their contributions will be suspect.

          6. Richard, we are repeating ourselves.
            1. A success rate of approximately 80% doesn’t guarantee no Rockets will fall inside Israeli cities.
            The Rocket that fell on top of the building in RIshon-Le-Tzion falls within the 20%.
            2. If “PPSS ” (Postol – Pedhatzur – Shefer – Silverstein) claims were true, Rockets should have been pouring down and hitting Israel’s cities like rain hit your rooftop, that is not the case.
            3. The blue remarks you have are very confusing.
            4. As for my Boona Fields, why deal with mine ? You have Uzi Rubin’s who holds a MA in Aeronautical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and is one of the world greatest experts in Missile Defense. Listen to the interview added in my first comment and answer his question: Where are the rockets ?
            5. I think that this debate has consumed itself, I have nothing to add.

          7. A success rate of 80%, which of course is bogus, should mean the IDF should’ve intercepted 3 of the 4 rockets fired from Lebanon. It hit one. Again, that’s 33%. The fact that Iron Dome never fired at the remaining rockets doesn’t indicate success, it indicates failure.

            A few notes for you to keep in mind. Keep your comments on topic, that is, directly related to the subject of the thread. In other words, discussing U.S. foreign policy in this particular thread is off-topic & a violation of comment rules. Also, please try to restrain your number of comments to no more than three on any given day (24 hr period). More comments than this (you’ve published 6 today) tend to monopolize the comment thread discourse. Start that comment regimen right now.

          8. Richard

            1. An Overall success rate of 80% doesn’t mean the system will get 80% every time. If you want me to, i will provide further explanation , though this really seems self explanatory.

            2. Six comments – make sense, sorry for getting carried away

            3. Off topic – was that a general reminder ? i haven’t said anything in this thread that is not directly related to the thread. I did not discuss US foreign policy in this thread.

          9. Claims of anti-Semitism are not only off-topic but specifically excluded when directed at other commenters unless you have very specific evidence to support this claim. In this case, you most definitely don’t.

            BTW, I just read an essay by Uzi Rubin about Iron Dome and what’s remarkable is that he claims the IDF has very clear, specific dat about the system’s failure and success. That this data supports the claims made in its favor. But then he doesn’t offer a single scintilla of any of it. He merely claims that the evidence in favor is absolutely conclusive. And this from someone purporting to be a scientist.

            Now I can understand the IDF not wanting to expose secrets, but if it refuses to offer any evidence then its claims simply can’t be believed or accepted. At all.

          10. @H. Mor: Now your claim is that Iron Dome succeeded because the rockets fell on Israeli villages instead of cities. Wonderful. But can you defend its invincibility based on the 7 story apartment building highly damaged during Operation “Up in Smoke” by another missle the system failed to strike??

  6. And just to summarize the subject: Any conspiracy theory needs to follow some logic. What the trio claims is:

    1. Iron dome efficiency is 0 or close to it.
    2. There are very few people who know about the real efficiency rate of Iron Dome.
    3. The successful efficiency rate of the system is a fabrication, generated by the Iron Dome control system.

    None of the above can be true. Iron Dome radar doesn’t generate the signal for the civil defense siren, that is generated by a separate radar operated by the Artillery corps, to detect rockets and artillery fired onto Israel, that system is called ‘Ra”z’ (http://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%A8%22%D7%96_(%D7%9E%D7%9B%22%D7%9D)

    As you can guess there are many people involved with operating both system (Iron Dome & the Ra”z).
    You can keep a secret, such as changing the data generated by the Iron Dome Radar to reflect grater efficiency, among a small group of people, but you will not be able to do so among the hundreds of people involved with operating both systems. Any type of artillery or rockets fired at or falls within Israel’s territory will be detected by the Ra”z operators.

    When the Iron Dome failed, the rockets fired from Lebanon (in this case) found their way onto Israeli cities, when the Iron Dome works as planned, rockets fired from Hamas / Hezbollah are being intercepted none falls within Israeli communities.

    This incident Iron Dome didn’t fired at 3 rockets, all 3 Rockets fell inside Israeli communities, that’s the main reason the claims you aired of Ted Postol, R. Pedhatuzer and M. Shefer are gigo.

  7. Could you please link to Uzi’s document ?
    And yes he’s absolutely right. There is a very specific date which is being analyzed after every incident.
    The IDF is not an academic institute, and one can learn great deal about system character from watching the video’s and that’s the reason it will not get published.

    To someone like you who doesn’t have any technical background it really doesn’t matter.

    The evidence is in the low number of Rockets that fell into Israeli cities, 58 during pillar of defense. Of course you can claim similarly to Doctor M. Shefer that all the interceptions are fabrication’s handled by the Iron Dome control center – with the cooperation of Hams (he claims that with all seriousness) but i seriously doubt you would argue Hamas would cooperate with such thing. Dr. Shefer also claims first man on the moon was fabrication. Very sad situation if you ask me, as this guy used to be one of Rafael’s leading developers.

    1. @H. Mor: Here’s the link: http://www.middleeast-armscontrol.com/2013/05/08/battle-over-iron-dome/

      There is a very specific date which is being analyzed after every incident.

      You don’t seem to understand. I don’t care whether they wrap their videos & data in solid gold. It’s worth toilet paper as far as anyone else is concerned. You’re here clearly spinning on behalf of Iron Dome, Rafael, the IDF & Israeli militarism. But all your efforts are worthless because YOU HAVE NO EVIDENCE. As for whether the evidence matters or not to me–you’re completely wrong on that score. There are scores of experts to whom I turn on precisely these sorts of issues, experts I trust. I don’t create my judgments out of whole cloth as you would believe. I consult with trusted sources.

      The evidence is in the low number of Rockets that fell into Israeli cities, 58 during pillar of defense

      I’m going to enforce another comment rule: neither you nor anyone makes claims on controversial subjects without providing credible evidence to support those claims. And you certainly don’t make the same claims over & over (another comment rule violation). You’re done on the subject of Iron Dome. Move on to another thread. And take this request seriously.

      BTW, your claim that Uzi Rubin is a disinterested party in the Iron Dome debate is false as well. As founding director of the Israeli Missile Defense Organization he clearly has a vested interest in confirming the efficacy of Israeli missile systems like Iron Dome. There’s much money & reputation to be earned by people like Rubin on these systems.

      As for Dr. Shefer, again you’ve offered lots of speculation & innuendo with no credible sources. But regardless, I don’t base my views on Shefer since I’m less familiar with them. My views are based on sources like Postol and Richard Lloyd and articles by William Broad in the NYT, among others.

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