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Israel's Iron Dome Missile Defense Shield Actually Works

Unknown Lamer posted about a year and a half ago | from the reagan-strikes-back dept.

The Military 861

Hugh Pickens writes "Sarah Tory reports that the debut of Israel's Iron Dome missile defense shield has added a new element to the conflict between Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza strip, one that military officials are calling a 'game-changer.' Israeli officials are claiming that the shield is destroying 90 percent of missiles and rockets it aims at that have been fired into southern Israel by Hamas. This level of success is unprecedented compared with older missile defense systems such as the American-made Patriot model used during the 1991 Gulf War. The missile-defense system can detect rocket launches and then determine the projectiles' flight paths and only intercepts rocket or artillery shells if they are headed for populated areas or sensitive targets; the others it allows to land. It takes a lot of raw computing power to rapidly build a ballistic profile of a fast-incoming projectile, make a series of quick decisions concerning potential lethality, and launch a countermeasure capable of intercepting said projectile in-flight. One reason Iron Dome is showing a much more robust capability than the Patriot system did is simply that its battle control hardware and software are several generations more advanced than those early interceptor systems. 'Israeli officials point out that Iron Dome saves money despite the fact that the interceptors cost up to $100,000 each,' writes Tory. 'The cost of rebuilding a neighborhood destroyed by a rocket attack — not to mention people wounded and lives lost — would be far greater than the cost of the interceptor.' Most important, the system buys Israel time, allowing it to plan out an appropriate response without the political pressure that would be generated by hundreds of potential deaths."

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861 comments

The tinfoil shield! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039425)

It actually works!

Re:The tinfoil shield! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039473)

The lice just jumps out at those spying mind control brain waves from space!

Accuracy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039457)

How sure is that 90% hit rate? I wonder what it is about the other 10% that lets them through?

Re:Accuracy (5, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039491)

Miscalculation? Mechanical error in the defense? I imagine the margin of error is relatively significant just because it does all of this on the fly, so the best way to get a quick enough response is to guess at a few things.

Given what it's doing, however, I'd say 90% is pretty damned good.

Missile Command (4, Funny)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039585)

I wonder what it is about the other 10% that lets them through?

How far do you manage to get in Missile Command? Do you 100% every level up to the 810,000 point, or do you rely on bonus cities?

Re:Missile Command (2)

somersault (912633) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039667)

Well, it would be a lot easier to write a program that plays perfectly than it is to play perfectly as a human. Though missing command is only 2D and you don't have to account for rockets travelling at hundreds of miles an hour and your own counter-measures being affected by wind and things like that.

Now the other side needs to start using guided missiles that pretend like they're going to miss, but switch targets at the last second. Though those would obviously be a lot more expensive than simple unguided rockets.

learn2robotech (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039823)

Now the other side needs to start using guided missiles that pretend like they're going to miss, but switch targets at the last second.

So in other words, the other side needs to learn to robotech [tvtropes.org] its missiles.

Re:Missile Command (4, Insightful)

ericloewe (2129490) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039833)

The moment they start using guided missiles, you can bet Iran and co. will be moved to the top of the list of bombing targets. It's hard to prove that a crummy hand-made rocket was made with help from someone else, but it's easy to prove that a large rocket came from somewhere else. Not to mention that it's hard to smuggle something of the size into Gaza.

Too bad... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039459)

Too bad it still doesn't give them a reason NOT to kill Palestinian civilians. Oh well, they're just brown people anyway. Oops sorry, have to go back to my scheduling programming about the the latest Hollywood gossip

Re:Too bad... (2, Interesting)

mjr167 (2477430) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039495)

So the Palestinians launch missiles at Isreal and you are upset that Isreal is pissed off about it and launches counter attacks? If Canada started launching rockets at the US, I would expect us to invade and conquer them in short order. I'm surprised that Palestine has been allowed to exist as long as it has.

Re:Too bad... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039553)

Yes, both parties are at fault for continuing this ridiculous feud. But is America blockading and occupying Canadian land to begin with? No.

And yes, I'm surprised that Palestine has been allowed to exist as long as it has considering the United States really doesn't give a damn about the fact that Israel continues to bulldoze their homes down for their own settlements.

Let's make it clear, I condone the actions of Hamas but Israel's actions are very heavy-handed in proportion to Hamas' attacks/

Re:Too bad... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039635)

Let's make it clear, I condone the actions of Hamas but Israel's actions are very heavy-handed in proportion to Hamas' attacks/

Paging Dr. Freud?

Re:Too bad... (3, Insightful)

ericloewe (2129490) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039849)

Heavy-handed? Try showing restraint when your backyard is being targeted by rockets.

Re:Too bad... (3, Informative)

Haxagon (2454432) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039577)

You seem to have left out the US and Israel funding Fatah to wage a proxy war against Hamas (democratically elected, by the corrupt system that the US and Israel pushed), the IDF killed a thirteen year old boy last month, then a twenty-three year old mentally disabled man who walked too near Gaza. Then, when the PFLP wounded four in a rocket launch near the border, Israel ASSASSINATED one of the leaders of Hamas and the strip.
Just thought you could use that background info.

Re:Too bad... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039769)

This same hamas threw fatah members from high floors of buildings when the won their fair elections. I'm not sure elections are supposed to end that way

Re:Too bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039789)

Interesting how blind the opposition can be towards the #1 killer of Islamic refugees and settlers... which are Islamic militants. Your enemy is yourself. You've created a bugbear out of the Jews and you use them as a scapegoat, but your hands are drenched in your own blood.

Re:Too bad... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039817)

Who cares about background at this stage. We're the stronger party, and whatever the Arabs say about history, we have a right to live here and defend ourselves. It's not our fault that the Arabs are too stupid build guns as big as ours, and just because we put effort into our own defense instead of the absurd internal politics of Hammas vs Fatah shouldn't mean we're the bad guys. This is our land, and has been for 2,000 years. The rest of the Middle East is crawling with terrorists and freedom-hating Muslims. If you lived here, you'd act the same. Stop talking trash from your comfy secure little American arm chair.

Re:Too bad... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039593)

Wow...you should REALLY read even a tiny bit of Middle Eastern history before making comments like that...also, rely on at least one non-US feed for your news...you do yourself a disservice otherwise.

Re:Too bad... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039623)

So the Palestinians launch missiles at Isreal and you are upset that Isreal is pissed off about it and launches counter attacks? If Canada started launching rockets at the US, I would expect us to invade and conquer them in short order.

Well, if the US sent their military into Vancouver for "security" reasons, throwing out all the Canadians who lived there and allowed US citizens to build homes and "settle" the area and considering the US's superior military, I wouldn't blame Canada in the least for shooting rockets over the border.

I'm surprised that Palestine has been allowed to exist as long as it has.

You are either an excellent and crafty anti-Israel troll or an incredibly ill-informed person.

Re:Too bad... (5, Insightful)

Formalin (1945560) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039647)

A better example would be if American Indians, subjugated and embargoed on their reservation, started rocket attacks on the US.

Re:Too bad... (4, Interesting)

mrchaotica (681592) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039861)

That analogy works if and only if you consider Palestinians to be more indigenous than Israelis.

Re:Too bad... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039683)

The Palestinians? What, all of them? Even the children? I'm fairly sure it's only Hamas who've been launching the missiles, but hey, why not just fire indiscriminately into a heavily populated city anyway in retaliation? Sure you'll kill a large number of civilians and children, but hey they're just Palestinians so who cares?

Israel has also been brazen in it's attacks against politicians and journalists. I'm surprised they haven't levelled a few hospitals for good measure.

Re:Too bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039721)

how do you think Canada would feel about the US blockading them in a modern day version of apartheid, trying to take them back to the stone age?

i get so pissed when people just think about it from only one side. there are two sides to this story, and right now, people on both sides are suffering (and suffering a lot more on the Palestinian side). See these numbers from the economist [economist.com]

Re:Too bad... (2, Flamebait)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039731)

I'm surprised Palestine has survived as long as it has. Bit by bit, Palestinians are being forced from their homes as Israel expands its lebensraum.

The Palestinians are defending themselves against an invading army. What would you do if the Canadians surrounded your town, marched you out of your home at gunpoint, bulldozed it flat, and told you to get the hell out of Canada?

Re:Too bad... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039879)

Nonsense. The borders of Israel have only been shrinking since the 1967 war, and that war itself was in self defense. There is not a single Jew in Gaza.

Re:Too bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039791)

So the Palestinians launch missiles at Isreal and you are upset that Isreal is pissed off about it and launches counter attacks? If Canada started launching rockets at the US, I would expect us to invade and conquer them in short order. I'm surprised that Palestine has been allowed to exist as long as it has.

Godwin'd. Kindly STFU for the rest of this thread, you Nazi fuck.

Re:Too bad... (1)

DrXym (126579) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039831)

The difference would be that Canadians haven't been herded into ever decreasing areas, surrounded by barbed wire, walls, checkpoints and sniper towers. They haven't been denied the means and materials through blockade to have a decent standard of living. I would say that extremism is a virtually inevitable part of living life under siege.

Re:Too bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039699)

The 10% of missiles that are not intercepted have gone on to, you know, actually hit stuff. People have been killed, houses have been destroyed, schools, buses and cars have all had their share. So yeah, I think Israel still has the right to retaliate.

Re:Too bad... (1)

michelcolman (1208008) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039703)

Oh well, they're just brown people anyway.

If you would strip an Isreali and a Palestinian naked and put them side by side, you wouldn't be able to tell which is which. (Except for the hairdo if it's a conservative jew, of course). This has nothing to do with race, just cultural background and history.

Re:Too bad... (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039761)

Well you know casualties happen in war, some of them civilians. If the Arabs were not insistent on waging war on Israel and would instead negotiate a peace treaty, perhaps Israel would no longer launch attacks which kill some of those Arabs which live in Palestine.

Does it really take so much computing power? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039469)

Does it really take so much computing power to calculate trajectory of a falling object? I know there's a lot of uncertainty coming from measurements but I don't really think you need anything more than an equivalent of pentium 100 to effectively decide wheter the missile is heading toward a populated area or not.

Re:Does it really take so much computing power? (5, Interesting)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039541)

You need to 1) detect the launch 2) determine the trajectory 3) determine the speed 4) determine a few other factors (mass? range? payload? whether it's capable of changing trajectory mid-flight?) 5) calculate where it's going 6) determine if that counts as a populated area 7) fill in any missing variables 8) make a decision 9) direct the defense

How fast could you do this? What if there's a hundred rockets coming in at once? It's not like a dumb bomb that's dropped straight down on a given point.

Re:Does it really take so much computing power? (2)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039567)

Does it really take so much computing power to calculate trajectory of a falling object? I know there's a lot of uncertainty coming from measurements but I don't really think you need anything more than an equivalent of pentium 100 to effectively decide wheter the missile is heading toward a populated area or not.

It depends when in the trajectory it plots the intercept path. If it is during the rocket-propelled phase then calculating the possible trajectories of something that will accelerate for a while then descend is probably a lot. Also the protected areas are likely to be a number of irregularly shaped patches on a three-dimensional terrain, not just one circle.

Then of course you have to calculate your intercept trajectory, again not simple

Re:Does it really take so much computing power? (5, Insightful)

rmstar (114746) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039687)

Does it really take so much computing power to calculate trajectory of a falling object?

It's not a falling object, it has a rocket engine.

You have to estimate acceleration, correct for mistakes, compute a plausible trajectory for it, compute a plausible trajectory for the interceptor, and since it involves objects moving at high speeds, it all has to be very accurate. You probably have a lot of crappy data sources to aggregate (radar, optical, etc) and things like wind and coriolis effects to take care of.

The optimal control problems involving launching and controlling the interceptor are already hard to write down on paper, and solving them numerically is far from trivial. And it all has to be done in real time.

In sum, it wouldn't surprise me if they had a 500-core, state-of-the-art supercomputer crunching the numbers.

Re:Does it really take so much computing power? (3, Insightful)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039809)

It's not just calculating a trajectory. I'm not an expert, but I assume it involves at least:

1. Detection - multiple layers of detection systems such as
        - radar
        - IR
        - computer vision / pattern recognition AI
              all of these have to work in unison to produce a high detection ratio and eliminate false positives
2. Tracking
        - tracking the object during its flight path using the aforementioned systems
3. Projection
        - thinking ahead of where the object is likely to strike, a small part of this is the "trajectory calculation"
4. Threat assessment
      - use projection data to assess the strategic value of impact location
5. Fire control
        - make decision to intercept, if positive
        - allocate the most appropriate platform
        - check airspace / final safety assessments
        - send warnings / signals / fire confirmation

All of this has to happen within seconds.

both sides (2, Insightful)

LinuxGrrl (123916) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039471)

Anyone else thinking they should deploy it on the Gaza side too? Not instead (I know people will misread me). As well.

Re:both sides (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039571)

You obviously missed those days of school where they discussed "aggressor" and "defender". Let me paraphrase: Hamas is the aggressor (or bully, if you will), and Israel is the victim who pays for the bodyguard to kick the bully's ass.

YAY !! WAR WORKS THINGS OUT IN THE END !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039477)

Cuz shez a black magic woman !!

Made a devil out of me !!

OMFG Reagan was right? (5, Insightful)

concealment (2447304) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039479)

You mean that SDI might work after all?

That will get us out of the nuclear age. A stop rate of 90% eliminates a first strike advantage.

But what's going to replace mutually assured destruction (MAD) when the destruction isn't assuredly mutual?

These missile shields could bring us closer to nuclear war, or end it forever when the party with the shield tells everyone else to drop their nukes or vanish in sparkly glowing fireballs.

Re:OMFG Reagan was right? (1)

Bradmont (513167) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039575)

Solution: Open source it. I'm sure nobody would actually want to give up their strategic advantage, but it would ensure nobody could launch a nuclear strike. At least, not with missiles.

Re:OMFG Reagan was right? (3, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039589)

No, 90% still isn't enough to stop MAD between superpowers, although it might be effective against smaller aggressors (IE: Hamas). If you launch 50 nukes at each city, half of the cities will still be destroyed. 100 nukes at each cities and 90% will be destroyed. That's well within the capabilities of the US and Russia and probably other first-world nuclear powers as well. The sheer number of missiles will still overwhelm any defense. You'd need at least three or four nines effectiveness at a minimum to prevent MAD.

Re:OMFG Reagan was right? (1)

Imrik (148191) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039663)

Not to mention that destroying a nuke over a populated area still lets it do significant damage in the long term.

Re:OMFG Reagan was right? (4, Interesting)

jittles (1613415) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039901)

Not to mention that destroying a nuke over a populated area still lets it do significant damage in the long term.

Maybe it does, and maybe it doesn't. These nukes have a lot of safety features packed into them. You certainly wouldn't want it to do a high atmosphere detonation because its EMP will have far reaching effects (satellites could be destroyed), and because it may cause a chain reaction with other missiles in the general vicinity. The worst case is that it may rain down some fissionable materials over who knows where. Its unlikely to cause a detonation, especially since these detonations have to be very controlled to create fission.

Re:OMFG Reagan was right? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039859)

And not counting the fact that if you expect this kind of countermeasures you would also launch decoy missiles, lots and lots of them, to saturate the defences.

Re:OMFG Reagan was right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039871)

Actually I think you're looking at a probability far lower that any city would survive that -- running through binomial distribution looks like it would be around a 0.0026% chance some city might survive.

Re:OMFG Reagan was right? (4, Interesting)

benjfowler (239527) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039603)

Unlikely.

The shitbox unguided bottle rockets that the Muslims are terrorising Israel with, aren't coming in that fast, and can be cheaply and easily intercepted.

On the other hand, strategic weapons, like nuclear-armed reentry vehicles (which are hypersonic and can actively manoeuvre), are virtually unstoppable. Nothing under Heaven and Earth can stop these things in terminal phase.

MAD might be around for quite a while yet.

Everyone is Forgetting MIRV Technology (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039805)

I think MIRV technology [wikipedia.org] makes this impossible. I remember reading this from a book by McNamara but Wikipedia sums it up nicely:

Thus, in both a military and an economic sense, MIRVs render ABM systems less effective, as the costs of maintaining a workable defense against MIRVs would greatly increase, requiring multiple defensive missiles for each offensive one. Decoy reentry vehicles can be used alongside actual warheads to minimize the chances of the actual warheads being intercepted before they reach their targets. A system that destroys the missile earlier in its trajectory (before MIRV separation) is not affected by this but is more difficult, and thus more expensive to implement.

Even if you made an iron dome for ballistic nuclear warheads, who ever is firing them at you is just going to make them split right before they hit your interceptor kill zone. And then you'll have less time to act or deploy your interceptors and a random number at each entry point. Could you take out some of them? Sure but it's a clam shell game.

I'm pretty sure Hamas isn't using MIRV technology and the Israelis have developed this Iron Dome tech to stop this specific kind of attack. Not ICBMs with complex nuclear payloads.

Re:OMFG Reagan was right? (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039613)

I would bet that its a lot easier to shoot down rockets at close range than when they are hurtling through the upper atmosphere.

Re:OMFG Reagan was right? (2)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039661)

A stop rate of 90% eliminates a first strike advantage.

No it is more likely to eliminate second-strike capability. The reason that the USA and USSR had hundreds of times the number of warheads needed to wipe each-other off the map was so that the second strike, even with a heavily damaged system was virtually guaranteed to totally wipe out the opposition. If you have a situation where a first strike will destroy (10% the weapons of Russia or the USA can still do that), but the second strike (10% of attack from damaged systems) may not then you have a much more dangerous situation. If either side thinks the other may launch the logical approach is to launch first.

Re:OMFG Reagan was right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039671)

Not sure how well that will go. They have a good rating against ground launched missiles. What about ICBM's or bombers?
What about the surface protected? They cover a thin strip of the border. That's it.
Not sure the Patriot comparison is valid.

Re:OMFG Reagan was right? (2)

hype7 (239530) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039677)

no, he wasn't. because until one of these systems gets to 100% (and by 100%, I mean 100%) then any strategist would tell you the natural reaction would simply be to lob more nukes. it actually results in INCREASED proliferation of nuclear weapons, and makes the world a less safe place.

and if one of them does get to 100%, they'll do what the russians threatened to do over the most recent european missile defence shield — just build missiles that the systems can't get a fix on: http://rense.com/general69/tiddosdzdd27makes.htm [rense.com]

Re:OMFG Reagan was right? (1)

Formalin (1945560) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039753)

Something tells me the Palestinians aren't using bleeding edge Russian or US ICBMs.
If the system was effective against that, you might have a point, however I doubt it would be.

I think there's only one way things end up if MAD is disturbed too much, maybe not right away, but sooner or later.

Murder (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039483)

The assault on the Gaza concentration camp is MURDER.

Who's Murdering? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039617)

Yet launching rockets at cities isn't? Iranian leadership should be tried for crimes against humanity. Iran can, most certainly, afford guidance systems in those rockets. an Ipad has enough sensors and processing power to be able to guide it at legitimate targets, and 20 dollars in servos to move guidance vanes would allow them to stop lobbing them at civilians. Oh wait...

Re:Murder (-1)

benjfowler (239527) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039653)

Serves the violent, ignorant, dirty Third World trash right for starting fights they can't finish.

One of these centuries, these Muslims might actually learn their lesson.

Re:Murder (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039755)

One of these centuries, you Jews might actually learn yours.

Re:Murder (0, Troll)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039689)

The assault on the Gaza concentration camp is MURDER.

So if someone was firing missiles into New York from a housing complex somewhere the solution would be to let them carry on. I suppose the missile launched at Israel are a peaceful protest!

Re:Murder (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039779)

Palestinians are Christian too.

Are we now separating them into good Palestinians and bad ones?

Kill all the Muslims and let the Christians live? Or just kill them all.

Re:Murder (2, Interesting)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039897)

Palestinians are Christian too.

Are we now separating them into good Palestinians and bad ones?

Kill all the Muslims and let the Christians live? Or just kill them all.

I'll wager the ones firing missiles at Israel are all Muslims. The 0.3% left [wikipedia.org] after their victimisation by the Muslims are keeping well out of it. Of course every effort should be made to minimise casualties of all non-combatants, but you cannot just let someone keep firing rockets at you because they set up in a populated area. That would just reward the Muslims for their disregard of international law and human rights

Re:Murder (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039825)

Ironic to claim Gaza is a concentration camp by a group that deny that concentration camps ever happened to the people they'd like to see driven into the sea.

Interesting (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039487)

It's amazing, Israel has the wealth, the brains, and the resources to protect and defend its people with systems like this.

Meanwhile, the Palestinians have nothing, but to blindly lob rockets into a sovereign country.

This clearly illustrates to the world who is the civilized one, and who the savages are.

Re:Interesting (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039631)

It's amazing, Israel has the wealth, the brains, and the resources to protect and defend its people with systems like this.

Nope - that's American taxpayer wealth, American brains to build and operate, and American resources.

Nice try trolling. You're the savage if you condone this war.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039729)

The Iron Dome was developed by Israeli engineers, so, sorry but the brains were not American in this case.

Re:Interesting (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039727)

It's amazing, Israel has the wealth, the brains, and the resources to protect and defend its people with systems like this.

Meanwhile, the Palestinians have nothing, but to blindly lob rockets into a sovereign country.

This clearly illustrates to the world who is the civilized one, and who the savages are.

It is clear that there is one cause of this; Islam. The linked article [washingtonpost.com] gets it when it says:

The New York Times has figured out that Hamas has been “[e]mboldened by the rising power of Islamists around the region” and is making use of its “increased clout” with the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt. Yes — news flash! — the Arab Spring is a disaster for Israel and for the cause of peace in the region.

Of course I was being modded down on Slashdot for pointing out that the "Arab Spring" would lead to a worse situation than the dictatorships it replaced as it was happening and our foolish governments were supporting it.

Maybe they do. Maybe they don't. (5, Interesting)

synir (731266) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039493)

I'm not saying Israel's defenses don't work (I've no reason to think that) but given the timing do you think we'd be told

a) If the defenses didn't work well at all
or
b) About all the instances the defenses failed to work?

Given the circumstances what we hear *especially* from official sources on either side of this conflict should be taken with quite a grain of salt.

They do. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039633)

This isn't the first time they've been used, they were talking about how well the Iron Dome system worked way back in April. If the failure rate was higher, as you claim, there'd be a lot more Israeli deaths. If it didn't work they wouldn't have rushed the latest battery into operation.

Re:Maybe they do. Maybe they don't. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039639)

A note about "timing"...

Lots of folks (mostly working for the US DoD) have been hearing about Iron Dome for a while now.

I don't mean to imply that I am releasing classified information; I am merely pointing out that just because YOU (not synir personally, but the general population) have not heard about this until it makes loud explosions... doesn't mean that the news was ""timed"" to be released.

And for the numbers being inflated... the admission that 10% of rockets are getting through is not a trivial thing. Ask yourself, " If somebody was firing rockets at the school that your child attended, would you be happy with stopping 90% of them?"

Too bad... (-1)

Haxagon (2454432) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039499)

... the innocent civilian refugees dying in Gaza from missiles that are accurate enough to hit one car yet somehow manage to strike crowded residential areas every single day don't have the money to buy one of those. Or eat.

Re:Too bad... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039707)

Too bad these "innocent civilians" are in 100% support of the missile launchers parked next to their house. Human shields are great for media sympathy when they actually get blown up.

I just don't get it. Is Israel suppose to just sit back and watch while the Palestinians lob hundreds of missiles at them? What is your solution? Because I personally see no other alternative.

Re:Too bad... (2)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039829)

The fact that those missiles strike crowded residential areas probably has something to do with various Arab organizations launching missiles at Israel from those very same residential areas. When you place military targets in residential areas, those residential areas become military targets.

CIWS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039501)

When I was in Iraq at Balad AB they had a couple of CIWS operating on land to intercept rockets and mortars if they were heading towards developed areas on the base. In a twist there was also a few artillery tubes that could out several hundred pounds of HX on the launch point within about 20 seconds... but AFAIK they never used the counter fire capability (at least they didn't while I was there). The guys working on that stuff said the computing power wasn't all that impressive in the Mk-15 system.

Proportional response? (-1)

ilsaloving (1534307) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039505)

Does this mean Israel will stop obliterating large swaths of palestine everytime someone so much as spits in their direction?

Re:Proportional response? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039599)

No, probably not.Currently In all "87 Palestinians, including 50 civilians, have been killed in the six-day onslaught and 720 have been wounded" according to AP

I have a solution. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039747)

Let's pay the Russians 100 billion Euros to use one of their doomsday nukes to take out Jerusalem.

That eliminates one of the disputes between those people. When they bitch we tell them that "their God has deemed them bad and destroyed His Holy City and if they don't cut the shit, they'll be next. Now shake hands."

If they continue, we let those ridiculous piss-ant people's kill one another and the rest of World can eventually live without all this drama and horseshit. We then can concentrate on other assholes like the N. Korean leadership.

The Middle East went from being the cradle of Western civilization to its cancer. And cancers need to be nuked.

Re:Proportional response? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039767)

What sort of "proportional response" do you suggest for hundreds of rockets being randomly fired at cities, destroying homes and killing people? Do you think Israel should start shelling Gaza, WWII Dresden style? Pray tell, what would you do?

not assassinating might be cheaper (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039527)

If they hadn't assassinated the head of the military wing of Hammas they wouldn't be facing this bombardment from Gaza. Ok he was probably behind a lot of the lower key attacks that have been going on recently, but it still might have worked out cheaper/better in the long run.

Re:not assassinating might be cheaper (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039763)

The problem is: how long will the run last? Maybe they've just had enough?

or it's all a lie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039529)

maybe a lot less or no missiles were fired, maybe the Iron Dome stats are twisted, an excuse to justify the cause.

So, Hamas will need to go after Iron Dome (1)

Shivetya (243324) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039543)

with some sort of ground effort? Or at least attempt to disrupt the RADAR or missile sites. The other alternative is to get more explosives into Israeli controlled areas to employ as IED and such, though much of that society is trained to spot things that should not be. Will a rash of homicide bombers be unleashed?

Eventually they energy weapons might replace the missiles and provide even better coverage, but it might lead to an escalation that is harder to contain, by which I mean the other guys might employ chemical or biological weapons which cannot be intercepted.

Re:So, Hamas will need to go after Iron Dome (1)

ledow (319597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039579)

Or gain access to one and use its stated databases of "secure" / "large population" sites to actually launch more targeted attacks by other methods?

Allah'hu ackbar (-1, Flamebait)

benjfowler (239527) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039545)

How's that Caliphate coming along, hey Muslims?

That's right -- because strong, rational cultures, like the West and Israel build wealth, power and military strength.

Religious cultures like Islam, squander human potential, and are doomed to wither and die.

Best Missile Defense Shield (5, Insightful)

anti-pop-frustration (814358) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039629)

Best missile defense shield : peace treaty.

Re:Best Missile Defense Shield (1, Insightful)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039785)

If your enemy respects treaties, sure. But it's islamists who are we talking about here. They are literally COMMANDED to lie to "infidels" by their holy book.

Re:Best Missile Defense Shield (2)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039843)

You are correct, when do you think the Palestinians will begin to show any interest in a peace treaty with Israel?

Parkling Lot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039643)

Seems to me turning Gaza into a parkling lot would be the cheapest approach in the long term.

Am I the only one? (5, Interesting)

Zibodiz (2160038) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039645)

Reading the comments, it seems I'm the only one here who thinks this is awesome. When it comes to weapons development, this is exactly the sort of weapon we should be cheering for. Whether you agree with the ones using it or not, this is a wonderful thing. A weapon which only works as a shield to block incoming attacks; that is what the weapons used by enlightened countries should have evolved into.

Re:Am I the only one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039759)

Reading the comments, it seems I'm the only one here who thinks this is awesome. When it comes to weapons development, this is exactly the sort of weapon we should be cheering for. Whether you agree with the ones using it or not, this is a wonderful thing. A weapon which only works as a shield to block incoming attacks; that is what the weapons used by enlightened countries should have evolved into.

A perfect shield makes you much more aggressive if we suppose none of your adversaries has an identical defense system.

Re:Am I the only one? (4, Insightful)

OzPeter (195038) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039807)

Reading the comments, it seems I'm the only one here who thinks this is awesome.

I think that the difference is that other people are taking the line of thought that something more awesome than a weapons system like Iron Dome is not needing it in the first place, and that the increase of hostilities in the middle could have scary consequences.

US Version (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039655)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counter_Rocket,_Artillery,_and_Mortar
in action

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4gYLq84yr8&feature=player_detailpage

Apples and Oranges (5, Informative)

necro81 (917438) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039695)

One other large difference that the summary glosses over is that there's a big difference between the Katyusha [wikipedia.org] and improvised rockets [wikipedia.org] of Hamas, and the much larger Scud missile [wikipedia.org] used by Iraq. There's almost an order of magnitude difference in size and range, and a several-fold difference in speed.

There's a correspondingly large difference between the Tamir interceptor missiles used as part of the Iron Dome [wikipedia.org] and the Patriot missile [wikipedia.org] .

Still, on the whole, it's probably a good thing that we are getting better at setting our lethal weapons against each other, rather than at people.

Patriot Failures (5, Informative)

OzPeter (195038) | about a year and a half ago | (#42039697)

There was a huge problem with the Patriot system early on where the tracking computers lost so much accuracy even after only running continuously for 8 hours that the system would fail to intercept threats. The short term solution was to reboot the system at regular intervals.
 
  GAO Report: Patriot Missile Defense [fas.org] (Official report)
 
  Patriot Missile Software Problem [sydney.edu.au]
 
  Round off errors and the Patriot missile [wordpress.com]

Antisemitism on /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039713)

For being a 'tech' site, this sure seems to be full of bigots. This article is about a weapon which acts as a shield, yet everyone posts hatefully about those using it. If Israel were the 'bad guys' in this fight, how come Hamas is still there? If Hamas had sufficient firepower, Israel would be obliterated. Israel *has* sufficient firepower to obliterate Hamas, but instead they only strike back when struck (and don't forget; by 'struck', I mean people have been murdered).
Stop hating and just appreciate tech talked about in the article.

A systems test? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42039743)

The real aim of Iron Dome is to be able to intercept Iranian missiles. Could this really be nothing more than a cynical operational systems test ahead of some Israeli adventurist stupidity elsewhere? The murder of Gazans being simply an Israeli pantomime to provoke enough rockets to make sufficient live targets for a meaningful operational test. After all, the rockets themselves cause little physical damage, unless you have to be unlucky enough for one of those things to actually land on you before it causes any substantial damage... I really wouldn't put it past them.

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