Strategy Page – The latest war with between Hamas and Israel was a major test for the Iron Dome anti-missile system. Each battery has radar and control equipment and four missile launchers. Each battery costs about $37 million, which includes over fifty Tamir missiles (costing $40,000 each). In the two years before this month Iron Dome had intercepted over 100 rockets headed for populated areas. In the last week Iron Dome has intercepted at least another 300 rockets.
The Palestinians are believed to have tried to defeat Iron Dome by firing a lot of long range missiles simultaneously at a few cities. In theory this could overwhelm one or two Iron Dome batteries. But Israel was keeping 24/7 UAV watch on Gaza and spotted attempts at large scale simultaneous launchers and bombed many of the launch sites. This resulted in many rockets destroyed on the ground or launching erratically and landing within Gaza or nowhere near where they were aimed. Because Iron Dome can track hundreds of incoming missiles, quickly plot their trajectory and likely landing spot, and ignore the majority that will not land near people, the Palestinians had to try to put hundreds of larger (long range) missiles into the air at the same time to be sure of causing lots of Israeli casualties. The Palestinians were unable to get enough rockets into the air at the same time and at the rate Israeli aircraft were bombing Hamas rocket storage sites (and setting off secondary explosions of the rockets to confirm the hit), the Palestinians would have been out of rockets in another week or so (if there was not a ceasefire).