“Weapons experts” suggest that a rating of 90 percent effectiveness for Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system needs to be adjusted down to approximately 40 percent.
The reasons for doing so range from the fact that 90 percent is an extremely elusive weapon success rate to the recent discovery that many reported Iron Dome interceptions during “Operation Pillar of Defense” (Nov. 2012) may not have been interceptions after all.
When Gaza militants were firing up to 60 rockets in a single day at Tel Aviv in November, Israel was relying on its Iron Dome anti-missile system to destroy some of the rockets before they hit their targets. Figures emerging from that conflict were those used to support the 90 percent success claim.
After that, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren described Iron Dome as the first anti-missile system “to succeed in combat.”
Although no one is denying the Iron Dome system helped Israel during the conflict, experts are saying the 90 percent figure is extremely high. Especially since they now know there were times when an explosion in the sky, following an attempted Iron Dome intercept was counted as a success. Truth is, many of these blasts may have just been “interceptor warheads blowing up.”
Looking back on Operation Pillar of Defense, those reformulating the numbers also believe many of the rockets fired into Israel missed their targets simply because the rockets were defective to begin with–rather than because they were intercepted.