Israel’s Iron Dome, Operation Pillar of Defense, Operation Protective Edge, Operation Guardian of the Walls.
The present study is undertaken to critically appraise the capability and performance of Israel’s Iron Dome during different campaigns till the recent Gaza war of May 2021. The study shows that during different military campaigns since the deployment of Iron Dome, Israel Defense Force has claimed significant interception figures for the system. However, the system critics refute the interception rates claimed by IDF on the basis that these are not independently verified. Operation Pillar of Defense (2012) shows that though IDF released statistics for Iron Dome interception were high, but anti-missile defense analysts and experts observed that given that only 20% of collisions were front on, hence the interception ratio was likely 5 percent or less for Iron Dome during 2012 campaign. During Operation Protective Edge (2014) again IDF claimed a higher interception ratio for the air defense system, but system critics criticized its ability on the basis that Iron Dome has a limitation particularly when it confronts ultra short-range and low trajectory rockets and mortars. The May 2021 conflict shows the military and technological superiority of Hamas and IJMP to launch mass saturation rockets attacks against Israeli settlements indicating the growing capability of non-state actors to overwhelm the defensive system (Iron Dome). Operation Guardian of the Walls (2020) also raised questions regarding the capability of the Israeli lower-layered defense system to counter rockets and mortars in the future particularly when confronted by a possible two or three front on rocket warfare involving Hezbollah.
December 27, 2022
Department of Political Science, Government College University Lahore