(1) So we just had several Red Alert sirens. One direct hit on an apartment building in Ramat-Gan (a borough of Tel-Aviv), killing one (it was an older building without the “safe rooms” that became mandatory in 1992), while two people got mild inhalation damage.
My long-suffering spouse, who was driving on a highway at the time, had to get out of the car and duck for cover repeatedly. I can think of a few bleeding heart concern trolls that I wish would come “share this experience” before pontificating on how we should just accept this and not retaliate.
Several missiles actually fell on Arab towns like Taibe. And at least some went out to celebrate this. Does this give you an idea how obsessed these “Banu Khameer” can be?!?
(2) Flying pig moment of the day: the United Arab Emirates had indeed earlier agreed to carry out several infrastructure projects in Gaza. Now according to the Times of Israel, quoting the Hebrew business daily Globes:
A senior UAE official tells the paper that such projects will not move forward if Hamas does not maintain calm in the territory.
“We are still ready and willing to promote civil projects in cooperation with the Palestinian Authority and under UN management [in Gaza], but our necessary condition is calm,” the unnamed official says.
“If Hamas does not commit to complete calm, it is dooming the residents of the Strip to a life of suffering. Its leaders must understand that their policies are first and foremost hurting the people of Gaza.”
(3) So what is this Iron Dome (Hebrew: kipat barzel, כיפת ברזל) really? Wikipedia has a pretty detailed article.
It was developed by Rafael [Israel’s weapon systems development authority] with several local development partners, and presently in partnership with US defense manufacturer Raytheon.
Here’s a video interview about Iron Dome by Jane’s Defence Weekly with somebody from Raytheon:
And here is a video by an Indian lecturer about the system:
In a nutshell, an Iron Dome battery consists of three components: (a) a phased-array radar system for locating and tracking the missiles; (b) 3-4 truck-mounted box launchers with 20 (4×5) “Tamir” (Hebrew acronym for til meyaret, interceptor missile) each, and (c) a truck-based BMC (battle management and weapon control) center. The system is designed for rockets fired at distances between 5 and 75 km —- anything longer-ranged is a job for the Arrow system, successor to Patriot.
If the BMC (presumably its human operator, based on the calculated trajectory) determines an incoming missile will fall somewhere harmless (open field, the sea) no interceptor is fired, otherwise one or more Tamir are fired off in response.
The concept was originally approved for development in the wake of the 2006 Second Lebanon War, when the entire North of the country suffered from bombardment by Hezbollah missiles. A competing system, Nautilus (based on a chemical laser) might in principle have been superior further down the line, but then-defense minister Amir Peretz — socialist dinosaur as he might be — made the wisest decision of his career, possibly remembering the French proverb (first coined by Voltaire) that the best is the enemy of good enough. (Le meilleur est l’ennemi du bien.)
How effective is Iron Dome? 80% or 90% of assigned targets, depending on who you ask. Good enough, at any rate, that the US military has ordered several batteries for its own use. Recent upgrades have extended intercept capabilities to heavy mortars as well as UAVs.
Like any system with a finite cyclic rate of fire and missile supply, it can in principle be overwhelmed by mass launches —- and that is exactly what the Islamofascists have been trying this round. The couple rockets that get through out of the 100-150 rocket salvos still are consistent with the stated effectiveness of the system though.
(4) Via Sarah Hoyt, a music video for the day:
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