The Iron Dome Weapon System works to detect, assess and intercept incoming rockets, artillery and mortars. The Tamir missile is Iron Dome’s combat-proven interceptor that strikes down incoming threats launched from ranges of 4-70 km. The Iron Dome system is deployed today in Israel, providing day and night protection. The weapon system have successfully intercepted 1500 targets
Between 2000 and 2008, more than 4,000 mortars and 4,000 rockets (mostly Qassams) were fired from Gaza into southern Israel. As the range of the Qassam has been expanded due to the introduction of 122-mm Grad launchers, nearly one million southern Israelis came within the range.
To counter the rocket threats, the Israel Defence Ministry decided in February 2007 to develop a mobile air defence system.
The missile defence system was successfully tested in March 2009. The testing was carried out without actually intercepting an actual missile or rocket. In July 2009, during a Defence Ministry test, the system successfully inThe final testing of the Iron Dome was undertaken in July 2010. In this, the system successfully determined and intercepted only those incoming rockets that were threats.
This system falls under COUNTER ROCKET , ARTILLERY MORTAR (CRAM) and VERY SHORT RANGE AIR DEFENCE MISSILE SYSTEM (VSHORAD)
TAMIR MISSILE – The missile launched by the firing unit of Iron Dome includes Tamir interceptor missiles. It has several steering fins for high manoeuvrability and is equipped with electro-optic sensors. The Tamir interceptor was designed for high efficiency and low cost. The missile uses elements that have already been proven in other Rafael designs, and employs new components designed for other in a special warhead that detonates any target in the air within seconds.
The missile components are manufactured by Raytheon and the specifications are as follows
ALTITUDE – 32,800 ft or 10,000 m
WARHEAD – 11 kg (proximity fuel explosive which is triggered by an active laser fuse which is later used to destroy its own targets)
SPEED – mach 2.2
WEIGHT – 90 kgs
LENGHT – 3m
DIAMETER – 16 cm
MISSILES PER LAUNCHER – 20 per battery
The missile operates within the atmosphere and is said to manoeuvres using its fins and body lift
It receives controls from the land based control and commando centre until its close enough to its target to home in using its own radar seeker
One Tamir interceptor missile costs nearly $50,000 but the prices have been quoted from $30,000 to $1,00,000
In the next post we will focus on the history of IRON DOME
By -Kushal Sinha