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Why Iron Dome Might Only Work For Israel

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the not-for-everyone dept.

The Military 377

An anonymous reader writes "Many this week have declared Israel's American financed Iron Dome rocket defense system a success. Some have even gone so far to declare it a vindication of Ronald Reagan's 1980's Star Wars missile defense system. Pundits have even gone so far to assume the system could be sold to other nations. However, the Iron Dome may not be the game changer many are making it out to be. Taking out unsophisticated rockets is quite different than advanced missiles: '...the technical and strategic challenges of shooting down ballistic missiles differ considerably from those of shooting down unguided rockets. BMD shares with rocket defense some common technological ground; both require fast reaction time and impressive sensor capabilities, and the Iron Dome project has benefited from technical work on missile defense. However, ballistic missiles in flight behave differently from unguided, sub-atmospheric rockets.'"

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What's a ballistic missile? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062589)

Aren't unguided rockets also ballistic missiles? How are they different?

dom

Re:What's a ballistic missile? (5, Informative)

JWSmythe (446288) | about 2 years ago | (#42062787)

    Yes, but people generally equate ballistic missiles with ICBMs.

    The ones that the Iron Dome is made to work against are relatively short range. I did some research on this after discussing it with some other people. They can basically intercept unguided missiles which cross into Israeli airspace, with a total flight of 3 km to 30 km.

    The primary missile it's used to intercept are pretty primitive. Think along the same lines as the kind most readers here would have built out of cardboard from an Estes kit. They use fairly primitive solid fuel, a payload of common or improvised explosives, fins to make it fly sort of straight, and not much else.

    Thousands have been launched towards Israel. Dozens have been hurt.

    It could work against any number of threats, but I would guess it is best at something with a fairly horizontal trajectory. If it were to intercept something like an ICBM, I would guess the resulting blast would still have the effect the attacker desired.

Re:What's a ballistic missile? (2)

JWSmythe (446288) | about 2 years ago | (#42062805)

    Where's the edit button when you need it?

    The primary missile it is made to intercept is made of metal. Actually, all the cases that I read about were metal cased missiles, with a very obvious flight path.

Re:What's a ballistic missile? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42063439)

Why can't they make lemons into lemonade or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinmen_Knife [wikipedia.org] .

Re:What's a ballistic missile? (4, Insightful)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 2 years ago | (#42063029)

Thousands have been launched towards Israel. Dozens have been hurt.

This kind of says it all, really... I wish I could find the reference at the moment, but I read somewhere a couple of years ago that most of the rockets that are being fired into Israel don't even have a payload, and are just empty shells. Compare and contrast to how many have been injured or killed by Israeli reaction (not to mention the blockade of medical supplies and construction equipment/supplies into the west bank). There was an episode of The West Wing, in Season 1 which summed it up quite nicely... episode 3 - Proportional Response. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJMVtP1CbOM [youtube.com]

I really hope that the Iron Dome system works as advertised, and that it allows cooler heads to prevail. I also hope that the cease fire that was negotiated and announced today succeeds. If either of those fails to happen, it does not bode well.

Re:What's a ballistic missile? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42063045)

The 3-30km figure is completely off. Iron Dome already shot down rockets coming into Tel Aviv - some 80km away.

It can do more than that, it's barely at v1.1.

But the article is bogus in general. Iron Dome was designed to counter short range weapons. Surprise surprise, it won't work on ICBMs. It's still extremely useful to protect military based around the world, airports, and border cities (like Seoul).

Israel has not one but two additional anti missile defense systems. One operational - Arrow, which already meets the challenges mentioned in this article, and another one in development (Magic Wand) - for medium range missiles. Each has its own purpose - countering a specific type of weapon, and they don't replace one another.

Re:What's a ballistic missile? (1)

GoatCheez (1226876) | about 2 years ago | (#42063059)

The US classifies any rocket with a guiding system (complex or not) a ballistic missile, regardless of whether it has anything other than rocket fuel and guidance. I'm not sure if they would classify unguided rockets with explosive payloads as ballistic missiles, but I would presume so. So, really, to not answer your question, I don't know.

Re:What's a ballistic missile? (3, Informative)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#42063485)

The distinction in terminology these days between rocket and missile is that a rocket is unguided and a missile is guided.

Ballistic missiles are guided for the powered part of flight (which is short, but still a phase). Rockets are aimed and shot. One could envision a cell phone guided rocket or something, but that's more effort than it's worth for hamas. You have to know what you're planning to shoot at, and where it is, have somewhere to calibrate your weapons etc. The value of these rockets is the terror effect because they can land anywhere, and they cost nothing to make so you can fire a lot of them, and if they miss or get shot down it's no big loss.

Also, extremely short range rockets have the advantage that even with air raid sirens people don't have time to get anywhere particularly safe.

Hamas also have russian, chinses and or iranian designed truck/shoulder launched rockets, those are what are hitting places like tel aviv. They're relatively sophisticated, relatively expensive, and smuggled in from Iran via sudan -> Egypt, or built in Gaza as kinds shitty versions of the originals. These are the Fajr -5 (chinese-Iranian origin, can hit Tel Aviv), and "Grad Rockets" which are russian and might make 40Km on a good day.

Re:What's a ballistic missile? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 2 years ago | (#42063397)

The enemy in this case is less than 100km away so the missiles come in very slow.

american financed? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062609)

The US provided some funding, they did not fully design or fund technology.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Dome#Co-production_with_the_United_States

one other place (5, Insightful)

jefp (90879) | about 2 years ago | (#42062621)

Since it works on artillery shells too, the other place it would work real well is: Seoul.

Re:one other place (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062721)

Not really. One of the key reasons why the Iron Dome works for Israel is because the rocket attacks aren't coordinated. If Hamas launched ALL of its rockets/artillery AT THE SAME TIME, the Israeli Iron Dome system would simply be overwhelming. Don't forget, about 10% of the rockets/artillery are getting through and thats with staggered/uncoordinated attacks. If they were all launched at the same time (which, the North Korean military is surely trained to do), the failure rate would easily double or triple simply because reload times would create opening in the defense.

Re:one other place (0)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 years ago | (#42062781)

Except Iron Dome is nowhere near fully deployed yet, so extrapolation (or guessing, which is more what you're doing) based on the current success/failure rate is probably not all that accurate.

Re:one other place (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062907)

Except the Iron Dome is fully deployed in front-line cities such as Ashkelon and yet the city was still hit by a rocket.

You're ignoring facts.

You're ignoring facts. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062945)

The fact is that, as far as some people are concerned, Israel can do no wrong and is completely beyond criticism.

Re:You're ignoring facts. (5, Insightful)

multicoregeneral (2618207) | about 2 years ago | (#42063163)

Israel is fighting organized armed insurgents whose stated mission is to destroy it. It's a threat that's existed in this form since 1967, and it's not going away.

Just think for a minute about how America would handle this. It only took one terrorist attack on our soil for every politician and every government agency in North America to collectively lose it's mind. We started two wars, eroded our own civil rights, distorted Constitution and treaties with other nations beyond recognition. We created new government agencies which (let's face facts,) do nothing, and we've been berating and hate killing Muslims ever since.

And that's just one attack. Before you judge Israel, think for a second about how we would respond to thousands of them. I can't tell you what America would do, but I'll tell you this: America would respond in ways that make the entire history of Israeli threat response look like acts of kindness.

Re:You're ignoring facts. (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 2 years ago | (#42063327)

America would respond in ways that make the entire history of Israeli threat response look like acts of kindness.

That's like a guy who killed his wife saying, "at least I'm not a serial killer."

Re:You're ignoring facts. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42063391)

you cannot declare self defense if you are the occupier. That's fuckin sick man takes a real twisted sense of logic to call an occupied people terrorists.

Re:one other place (4, Informative)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#42062985)

It's a somewhat misleading mistranslation but the 90% rate is the accuracy rate of the rockets not the efficiency of the whole system. WHEN the incoming missile is recognized and targeted in time, they fire a rocket which has 90% chance of hitting it. If it doesn't hit, they fire a second one. So that rate is more related to the cost-efficiency of the system than its safety. Of the rockets fired at Israel they only managed to shoot down about half.

Re:one other place (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42063449)

...and the response would be simply overwhelming. To think that these people that go about their daily lives while what amount to union thugs(give us food and shelter and we will protect you, yeah right, just like they go to bat for your when you get squeezed, not) lob missiles from their "donors" doorstep are innocent... by doing nothing you are just as guilty, especially from you own neighborhood. They have accepted it, they could have moved, they didn't. Aiding and abetting.

Re:one other place (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062735)

Except that NK could launch thousands of shells per hour, instead of just 100 per day as Hamas.

Re:one other place (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062967)

Of course, but in the attack on Yeonpyeong two years ago (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/southkorea/8153100/North-Korean-attack-on-Yeonpyeong-Island-is-worst-against-civilians-in-20-years.html) a mere 50 shells were fired.

The scale of Nork fire across the Northern Line has historically (since the 1953 cease fire) been small enough for an Iron Dome response, I should think. And the two South Korean marines killed on Yeonpyeong are the sort of non-mass-casualties that the Israelis are so far successfully limiting. (The 1500 rockets fired in the current wave of violence have killed three or four in Israel. At $50,000 to $80,0000 a pop, the number of Iron Dome launches and forestalled casualties is well in the range of normal cost-benefit analyses for protecting civilian human lives.)

An all-out artillery assault (1000+ shells in each hour of hostilities) calls for a more robust response than missile defense, even if the guys who started it have fission weapons (do we know if the Norks have weaponized their bombs to fly on missiles? I'd think gravity bombs would be tough to use against the South and its air force)?

Re:one other place (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062857)

Yeah, that's about it.

Anywhere else that was getting shelled would just send in an army and level the folks shelling. Not sure why Israel isn't being allowed to do that, doesn't make any sense.

Re:one other place (1)

Jeff1946 (944062) | about 2 years ago | (#42062879)

each rocket costs about $50k, not so good for antiartillery

Re:one other place (3, Insightful)

lucm (889690) | about 2 years ago | (#42062889)

Seoul is definitely a very good example of building defense against low-tech attacks. The Iron Dome is impressive but if Israel's ennemies start doing like North Korea and dig tunnels under the DMZ it will be useless. So far the Americans in the Korean JSA have found (and closed) 3 tunnels, one of which was wide enough to allow a full-scale invasion.

People underestimate low-tech. The West Bank Barrier, which is basically a big wall, can be blamed from a humanitarian perspective, but from a security/military perspective it actually helped to drastically minimize the number of car and suicide bombings on the israeli territory; now the war is fought on the outskirts or directly in other countries (such as Lebanon) and the focus is on rockets, but 20 years ago the situation was totally different with bus or market bombs being typical.

History is full of successful low-tech solutions, like the barbed wire wall built by Mussolini's henchman (Graziani) in Libya that prevented the mujahideen to bring supplies to the resistance. History is also full of high-tech solutions that ended up being an expensive fiasco, like the Maginot Line. (Some people would put Reagan's SDI in that list but as a conspiracy theory buff I prefer to think it was all a master plan to push USSR to bankrupt itself by building a bigger arsenal).

As far as rockets are concerned, I'd be curious to see a cost analysis of the Iron Dome versus a shitload of snipers with high-powered rifles trying to shoot rockets as they fly over the territory. Just sayin'.

Re:one other place (4, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#42063031)

A sniper shooting a rocket out of the air? I think you've been watching too many movies. It's considered a good shot for a sniper to hit a relatively stationary human-sized target at 1-2km away. While it's hard to find a good figure, the rockets Hamas et al are using look to be traveling at 200m/s, which means they will cover the effective firing range in 5-6 seconds, which is nowhere near enough time to get a bead and fire. With a few hundred snipers and a known launch point, they could maybe hit 1 out of every 100 by sheer luck, if that (although I grant you even a near hit might knock the rocket off course or destroy it, it's still going to be incredibly ineffective).

Re:one other place (2, Funny)

lucm (889690) | about 2 years ago | (#42063277)

200 m/s is about 7 times the speed of trap shooting. I guess it's a bit fast and it does not help that the sniper does not get to scream "pull" to control fire rate... but I'm sure a lot of people can do it, like Tom Berenger, or Ed Harris, or that guy from the last Rambo movie.

On a side note, I have no idea why you say I've been watching too many movies.

Re:one other place (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#42063509)

Trap shooting is done using shotguns for a reason, and at a few hundred feet, the rockets can cover miles. I mean, sure, there are other ways to shoot down the rockets, but "guys with guns" probably isn't a terribly practical one (I'm not even sure I'd want to blow up a rocket at short range, some of them can carry ~100lb warheads, so you'd end up loosing a lot of the shooters, maybe even if they actually hit the missile). One system I've seen mentioned is the US's Phalanx system, which is designed for exactly this, shooting down incoming munitions, but that has a relatively limited range and probably even more importantly results in thousands of rounds of ammunition being spread everywhere (they weren't designed to be used in cities, after all), some of which is likely to hit people/buildings.

Re:one other place (1)

russotto (537200) | about 2 years ago | (#42063047)

The Iron Dome is impressive but if Israel's ennemies start doing like North Korea and dig tunnels under the DMZ it will be useless.

Ground penetrating radar is well within Israeli capabilities. I don't think they'll be digging any tunnels.

Re:one other place (0)

IceNinjaNine (2026774) | about 2 years ago | (#42063139)

People underestimate low-tech.

What I don't underestimate is the ability of 2nd Infantry Division and the South Koreans to act as a 15 minute speed bump to get the F-16s in the air to knock the living fuck out of their fuel depots, thus limiting their advance. After that the B-2s take over and we ascertain whether we go with dial-a-yield B61s to eliminate the arty wholesale. Make no mistake: part of their initial ordinance mix will be chemical in nature. We only have one leg of the NBC triad left with which to respond, and Saddam wasn't even stupid enough to test us on that.

Re:one other place (1)

DavidClarkeHR (2769805) | about 2 years ago | (#42062949)

Since it works on artillery shells too, the other place it would work real well is: Seoul.

But then we couldn't call it the Iron Yamaka ...

Re:one other place (1)

DavidClarkeHR (2769805) | about 2 years ago | (#42062987)

Since it works on artillery shells too, the other place it would work real well is: Seoul.

But then we couldn't call it the Iron Yamaka ...

... and calling it the Iron Gat [wikipedia.org] just isn't as cool.

It makes me think of gatling guns ... the most famous of which is a Tommy Gun [wikipedia.org] ... and I'm pretty sure that's NOT the appropriate short-form name for someone of Korean descent. And it was a terrible movie.

Re:one other place (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#42063539)

Orders of magnitude problem.

Seoul has about 3x as many people as israel in 1/4th the area (the Seoul capital area, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_urban_areas_by_population). Iron dome can afford to ignore a lot more rockets because a lot more of them aren't going to hit anything, and hamas is firing dozens of rockets at a time. North korea would be firing thousands, in a semi coordinated fashion and quite likely take steps to interfere with a similar system.

It's not that a similar attempt would do nothing, but between a massed artillery barrage and a land offensive at close range Seoul would be in serious trouble. It's only about 40Km from Seoul to the DMZ. It's a very difficult position to be in.

Troll Editors (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062625)

Just posting these crap stories - Trolls.

There was a time, just ten years ago when I came to /. and learned.

Laughed too. (study on tinfoil hats - user comments the funniest thing I EVER read on the web)

Stick to tech, not thinly-veiled political agendas.

That word: ballistic (2)

samjam (256347) | about 2 years ago | (#42062627)

That word: ballistic, I don't think it means what you think it means

Re:That word: ballistic (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062681)

Like.

Re:That word: ballistic (1, Offtopic)

MrBigInThePants (624986) | about 2 years ago | (#42062885)

Ballistic: something designed to look exactly like it should be accompanied by a pair of balls.

Re:That word: ballistic (3, Funny)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 2 years ago | (#42063419)

I am still trying to deal with sub-atmospheric. Is this a mole missile or a torpedo?

Cost effective defense (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062635)

Israel seems proud to have a missle system that only stops attacks that will kill or cause damages exceeding $100K defense rocket cost. That seems good to me regardless of talking heads. Unreasonable comparisons do no harm to defense missiles that are willing to die for Israel.

Somebody always does this (5, Informative)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#42062657)

So some random 'journalists' have attempted to force an analogy and it doesn't work (ICBM defense is analogous to primitive short range surface-surface missiles). Woop de do. Iron Dome is much more closely related to the Patriot system [wikipedia.org] which was designed to hit smaller, slower targets than ICBMs.

Not sure what the big deal is. Wake me up when they get the shark mounted lasers working.

Re:Somebody always does this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062911)

Sorry we're fresh out of those, we only have ill-tempered Sea Bass

Re:Somebody always does this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42063193)

Time to wake up dude: http://www.buzzfeed.com/donnad/sharks-mounted-with-laser-beams

Shit just got real

"some"? (3, Informative)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 years ago | (#42062661)

Some have even gone so far to declare it a vindication of Ronald Reagen's 1980's Star Wars missile defense system.

Some say that I'm the handsomest man in the world.

Re:"some"? (4, Funny)

Nyder (754090) | about 2 years ago | (#42062755)

Some have even gone so far to declare it a vindication of Ronald Reagen's 1980's Star Wars missile defense system.

Some say that I'm the handsomest man in the world.

Moms don't count.

Re:"some"? (0, Flamebait)

identity0 (77976) | about 2 years ago | (#42062905)

Does your mom count? Because that's the one that said it to me.

Re:"some"? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42063317)

Wow. "Your Mom" jokes. Aren't you the twit?

Re:"some"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062909)

And when it comes to Ronald Reagans record, neither do republicans.

Misleading summary (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062663)

The summary seems to imply that Hamas is launching home-made rockets. Not so. Take a look at http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-F02XpjfWjRA/UK0fVU618XI/AAAAAAAAjDI/HKrb4SO6eXw/s1600/Hamas+Missiles_JPost.jpg

Secondly, Iron Dome isn't meant to be the end-all of missile defense. Israel has deployed a three-level missile defense.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Dome for short-range missiles
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David%27s_Sling for medium-range missiles
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrow_(Israeli_missile) for long-range missiles

The Arrow system intercepts ballistic missiles.

Origin Gaza/Westbank (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062995)

"The summary seems to imply that Hamas is launching home-made rockets. Not so."

So those Qassam missiles we've been hearing about are not home made, yet your infographic says "origin Gaza/Westbank".
That's almost exclusively what they're firing and they're not much more than bottle-rockets. Not the big scary missiles we hear from the Israel propaganda unit.

The aggressor here is Israel. Endless terrorist attacks on Gaza, endless land grabs on Gaza and the West Bank, asset stealing of Gaza. A slow and steady genocide of Palestinians.

Re:Origin Gaza/Westbank (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42063101)

10kg payload bottlerockets eh?

Jerico3 1000-1300 Kgs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42063189)

"10kg payload bottlerockets eh?"

Vs the Israeli missiles and their 1000-1300 times that payload with better explosives to carry to? Bottlerockets.

Qassam punch a hole in a wall vs Israel flattening an apartment block. They're orders of magnitude different.

Re:Misleading summary (4, Informative)

JWSmythe (446288) | about 2 years ago | (#42063007)

Come on, be more informative than that..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qassam_rocket [wikipedia.org]

    The majority of the rockets *are* home made. They have the budget of militant groups, not of a national military.

    Sure, they're dangerous if one lands on you, or near enough for the payload to hurt you.

    There have been actual military missiles used. They are the minority. I had found the count of missile types launched in the last 10 years, but I can't seem to find it now.

Re:Misleading summary (2)

AJWM (19027) | about 2 years ago | (#42063387)

Sure, they're dangerous if one lands on you, or near enough for the payload to hurt you.

Well yeah, but that applies to everything from large model rockets on up to nuclear-tipped ICBMs. It's just that "near enough" is a lot further away in the latter case.

Re:Misleading summary (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 2 years ago | (#42063427)

Based on the effect that those home made rockets are having, the Pals might as well just build them, then detonate them in their own apartments. It seems that the launch to dead Pal ratio is about 3:1.

It's all grandstanding. The Gaza Strip has no military worthy of the name. Dozens of tribes further south in Africa are capable of teaching the Pals how to wage war - maybe they should start getting an education.

Iron dome has worked for it's first deployment (5, Interesting)

Lehk228 (705449) | about 2 years ago | (#42062667)

Will it still work if the same rockets have an off balance twisted fin making them spiral? Will new tactics erase some of the advantages as fewer and larger salvos are launched? Will EW rockets get thrown in with the others to try to jam iron dome radar tracking? How well will it work against larger salvos with a bunch of really cheap cardboard and tinfoil rockets mixed in?

Re:Iron dome has worked for it's first deployment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062955)

All these things you suggested would either significantly shorten the range, or prevent the rocket from working at all (crash prematurely). Two things terrorists aren't interested in.

Re:Iron dome has worked for it's first deployment (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 2 years ago | (#42063471)

"Will it still work if the same rockets have an off balance twisted fin making them spiral?" No. It will not make them harder to track or make them much harder to hit. Iron Dome uses a fragmentation warhead like a SAM does so close counts.
"Will new tactics erase some of the advantages as fewer and larger salvos are launched?" Maybe but it takes time to set up a lot of rockets for a barrage and that is likely to be seen by drones. If that happens then you just blow up the rockets while they are being set up. Double bonus.
"Will EW rockets get thrown in with the others to try to jam iron dome radar tracking?" Really expensive and not likely to work. Radars have ways to dealing with all but the most advanced jammers.
"How well will it work against larger salvos with a bunch of really cheap cardboard and tinfoil rockets mixed in?"
See the problems with large barrages.

What a surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062669)

At least ten people have pointed out in the last sensationalist article that the two has nothing to do with each other.

Really (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062679)

No way

American financed? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062751)

Why was this project "American financed" anyway? Israel has PLENTY of money to spend on their own defense. It doesn't make any sense for a country that's trillions of dollars in debt to hand out cash to a country that spends money on luxuries like a universal healthcare system that we don't even have here.

Re:American financed? Because Sir! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062977)

You are a stupid American, and deserve only to fight amongst your fellow Americans. North America is the Queens land not yours!

Re:American financed? (1)

lazarith (2649605) | about 2 years ago | (#42063251)

Probably because if we financed it, then we get the credit if it helps stop/stabilize the middle east. And it's a way we can aid an ally without incurring international strife (after all, it is solely a defensive weapon). And because a stable middle east is necessary to fuel our appetite for oil. A universal healthcare system for Israel costs so much less than one in the US, due to the number of citizens.... And in an area as volatile as the middle east, leaving sick people out to die (and spread disease and dissent) is a threat to Israel's national defense.

Yuo Fail It!\! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062819)

Charnel house. 4nd executes a

Great, can Gaza get one to protect it from Israel? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062839)

Notice the one big story not covered by the network is the missile attack from Israel on Gaza so far killing 150+ people.

You fund them with $2.5 billion a year, when the USA cannot afford that funding. They in turn need to be at constant war, even with the civilian population of Gaza, just to justify it.

Their 'missile shield' protects them from retaliation fireworks, while they bomb the crap out of the population of Gaza and declare everyone hit to be a 'militant' or a 'terrorist', even the children, women, families, even the UN school they bombed the last time.

Just stop funding them! Really, it's that simple, they'll stop killing people if they have to pay for their own constant warmongering.

Arrow defense system (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062841)

Iron Dome isn't meant to intercept ballistic missiles. That's what Arrow is for: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrow_(Israeli_missile)

I wonder what it cost to add guidance (1)

shinehead (603005) | about 2 years ago | (#42062843)

to the crude rockets? I read somewhere homemade rockets cost $500 to build. I wonder if an Arduino + GPS shield + Servo shield could give effective targeting?

Re:I wonder what it cost to add guidance (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | about 2 years ago | (#42063041)

    Don't say that too loud, or you'll have DHS or NSA knocking at your door. ... and GPS is limited to speed, altitude, and G forces. Look for information on the "COCOM Limits".

Re:I wonder what it cost to add guidance (1)

shinehead (603005) | about 2 years ago | (#42063201)

Wikipedia reports COCOM limits as 1200MPH & 60000 ft altitude. Maybe the rockets don't go that fast/high? Or perhaps a software rewrite? Another thought is to initially use inertial guidance then decelerate until within COCOM for terminal phase. Crap, should have posted AC!

It's also a small country (3, Informative)

Grayhand (2610049) | about 2 years ago | (#42062849)

Regan's proposal had the potential to be the most expensive undertaking in human history. All for no clear enemy. Look at it this way it wouldn't stop 911 from happening or car bombs so we're talking an insanely expensive program with questionable benefit. Also the missile defense tests were really problematic. They tended to boast of the time they hit the target and ignored the ten times they missed.

Re:It's also a small country (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42063011)

I can't tell if you are trolling or just ridiculously young.

We weren't worried about 9/11 or car bombings. We were worried about Soviet invasion or preemptive strikes. Our enemy then *was* clear, in contrast to today.

Anyway, greetings from the other side of the fall of the Berlin wall.

Re:It's also a small country (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#42063147)

I don't think the SDI was ever intented to work. It was a massive bluff that forced the Soviet Union into a weapons race they couldn't afford. Ultimately, it was a major contributing factor in bankrupting the SU and ending the Cold War.

Re:It's also a small country (2)

Waffle Iron (339739) | about 2 years ago | (#42063297)

It was certainly intended to work, up until failures progressed to the point that even the Neocons pushing it had to admit that it can't work. (Especially against any enemy smart enough to employ simple countermeasures.)

After that point, they switched to plan B and changed SDI into an elaborate Potemkin village, similar to the expensive and unworkable bomber defense systems that preceded it.

Re:It's also a small country (1)

AJWM (19027) | about 2 years ago | (#42063463)

smart enough to employ simple countermeasures.

I always got a chuckle out of that. Because what are "simple countermeasures" on paper turn out to be "complex and expensive R & D programs" when you try to implement them on your thousand-plus ICBM inventory.

My favorite was "just spin the booster" as a counter to laser interception. Now, consider that Soviet ICBM technology of the time relied on liquid-fueled boosters. Consider the dynamics problems of spinning a liquid-containing cylinder which is also accelerating upwards at eight or ten gees (while attempting to drain said cylinders to fuel the engines). The lasers wouldn't have to hit them, they'd destroy themselves.

(Ditto for "just add shielding" -- which means adding weight, aerodynamic drag, and changing the center of mass, which means rewriting your flight control software, lowering your payload, and risking catastrophic disassembly if the shielding comes loose.)

Arrow 3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062893)

I thought that's why they are developing the Arrow 3 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrow_3#Arrow_3
Maybe they will integrate it into the iron dome system.

Israel shouldn't exist. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062915)

Troll for Truth. Godwin for the Win!

Send the Jews back to Madagasgar and close the ports.

Hamas, Hitler and Hezbollah unite to H-bomb the Hasadic.

Re:Israel shouldn't exist. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42063203)

When the intellectuals finally take over the world, and wipe out the fucktards, your head will be on the chopping block, you pathetic cunt.

I used to have a yard that extended to the sea. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062923)

One day, some strangers came and slapped a condo on it, cutting off my access to the beach.

The people they setup in the place then began throwing rocks at my family.

My family and I appealed to the authorities, but the largest and most powerful among them are staunch friends of the new people.

There was absolutely no chance of any kind of peaceful negotiation, so it's been open hostility between us ever since.

A few years ago they even invaded what remained of our property and threw most of us off it, then built another condo on it.

We'd love to get our yard back, but it's been too long now.

The grandchildren of the new people call the condo home, and feel the beach is rightfully theirs now.

They won't consider the possibility of giving us even a narrow right-of-way to the sea.

It's a most unfortunate situation, and I don't know how it's going to end.

Re:I used to have a yard that extended to the sea. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42063221)

Your metaphor completely misunderstands history. I feel sorry for you.

Re:I used to have a yard that extended to the sea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42063223)

Get some nasty rockets and artillery and bomb them to the kingdom come!

Re:I used to have a yard that extended to the sea. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42063345)

You missed the part where they:

Missile attacked you repeatedly.
Blew up your power station.
Stole your bank account money.
Declared you terrorists to prevent you speaking.
Paid US politicians to visit the beach resort where they come back full of (kachink) support for this new owners.

Yeh, its a terrible situation, and one that won't change anytime soon as long as Israel controls Congress.

Re:I used to have a yard that extended to the sea. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42063491)

I used to have a yard that extended to the sea.

One day, some strangers came and slapped a condo on it, cutting off my access to the beach.

The people they setup in the place then began throwing rocks at my family.

I can't tell what your third sentence refers to

Do you mean:
I got together with a couple of my neighbors and try to push the strangers into the sea, but they managed to fight me off?

Warning time, size (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062943)

Iron Dome works on small targets with next to no warning time. In some ways ICBMs are easier because the warning time is much greater and they are much larger.

A kid who can pick flies off the fence with his 22 will have no problem picking off a moose at a hundred yards with his dad's elephant gun.

Iron (1)

The Evil Atheist (2484676) | about 2 years ago | (#42062951)

Very soon, it will be curtains for Palestine.

It exists. It's called Arrow. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062961)

Here's a link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrow_(Israeli_missile)

The problem with all the Israel haters is that the bottom line is that Israel develops great technology. At some point in the future lasers (see e.g. Nautilus) and missiles will shoot down whatever comes into Israeli airspace. It is then that Israel will have the ultimate BATNA and chances for any positive outcome for Palestinians - land, peace, water, utilities, trade, you name it - significantly drops, almost to zero.

Emotional baggage that prevents people from realizing this simple fact. If you are a supporter of the Palestinians, the only thing you should be doing today is beg the Palestinian leadership and the world to force them to take what they're being offered and stop attacking innocent civilians. I predict that the strengthening right and weakening left in Israel, combined with growth in certain populations within the country and technological advancements will make future leaders (10-15 years into the future, give or take) very unlikely to be even willing to discuss peace.

In market terms, the Palestinians are counting on an inflating bubble. Their best bet is to liquidate it now instead of waiting for the pop.

Why Iron Dome Might Only Work For Israel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062971)

Because 90% success rate is bullshit?
Along with the $100,000 price tag.
The AMRAAM missile is some $500,000 and the Iron Dome has to intercept something a lot smaller and faster than an aircraft.

So when do the innocent .... (0, Flamebait)

3seas (184403) | about 2 years ago | (#42062975)

... Palestinians get there dome or do they too need a rock to go in it?

reply (-1)

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Just one step more. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42063013)

Take the data to figure out exactly where the projectile came from and return fire in seconds.
That is the best system of all.

The price difference is ridiculous! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42063095)

It's something like $100,000 per iron dome interceptor missle compared to $500 per unguided rocket.

Re:The price difference is ridiculous! (1)

someones (2687911) | about 2 years ago | (#42063245)

one is gonna be broke soon...

Keep it going (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42063105)

We just need to keep the Palestinians mad at us. We need to keep Israel buying our stuff. We kill a political leader, Pals get angry and attack us, we can then have Israel buy more munitions from us. I was getting worried. It has been a while. Luckily we got that guy and triggered this whole thing. Israel will def be buying some replacement munitions. Some of those rockets got through. I think Tel-Aviv needs to beef up this Iron Dome thing. Who makes that anyway? Unilever?

Turkey could use these (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42063121)

Turkey is probably wishing they had a few of these to station along their border with Syria right now. Too bad they burned all their bridges with Israel.

Re:Turkey could use these (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42063443)

How many of their citizens should they have let the Israelis murder before approaching bridge with match in hand?

subatmospheric? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42063175)

OMG, underground missiles!

640k is enough for anyone. (1)

hessian (467078) | about 2 years ago | (#42063181)

Technology improves over time.

Once there's a working prototype, it can be improved in thousands of ways that are less challenging to produce than the prototype itself.

Right now, there are some challenges in making Iron Dome into SDI. However, there's also a working model which can be refined until it has SDI-ish capabilities.

If you looked at a computer in the 1970s, you might think it could never simulate a human cell [technologyreview.com] . And yet, we're almost there.

Coincidentally, Lindsey Graham refers to John . . (3, Funny)

wrencherd (865833) | about 2 years ago | (#42063329)

. McCain as "Iron Dome" when he writes about him in his diary at night.

True story.

ballistic == unguided (2)

AJWM (19027) | about 2 years ago | (#42063341)

Now, maybe the guy meant intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), or even intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM) -- the stuff Israel is shooting down seems shorter range -- but ballistic and unguided are essentially equivalent. You could have a non-ballistic unguided missile (an unguided cruise missile, say) but that's worse than useless (it could loop around and come back at you). But a ballistic missile -- once past the boost phase -- is, like something thrown by a trebuchet, guided only by gravity and air drag.

And of course the further away it launches from, the more time you have to figure out what it's doing.

Re:ballistic == unguided (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42063447)

These days (ie. few decades now) ballistic missiles are guided with countermeasures.

Silly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42063363)

Look, I understand that the moderator is supportive of Palestine, but why not celebrate the technical achievement? The overwhelming majority of nations worldwide are not capable of achieving more than the Palestines are, so the Iron Dome is a major accomplishment!

Arrow 2 Anti-Ballistic Missile Defence System (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42063489)

They aren't betting the farm on Iron Dome.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrow_%28Israeli_missile%29

http://www.army-technology.com/projects/arrow2/

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