Israel's Iron Dome counter-rocket defence system recorded an interception success rate of 70 per cent in 2011, according to an analysis of the system's performance conducted by the Israel Air Force (IAF).
Developed by Rafael Advanced Defence Systems, Iron Dome is designed to defend against rockets fired at ranges of 4 to 70 km. Each battery consists of a radar system manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries' Elta Systems, a fire-control centre and three launchers, each with 20 Tamir interceptors.
The IAF operates three batteries around the Gaza Strip. The first was deployed in March 2011, the second in April and the third in August.
They participated in three rounds of attacks between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip and successfully intercepted 33 out of 47 rockets launched against areas protected by the system.
In the first round of violence in April, Iron Dome intercepted eight of 10 rockets, in August 22 of 28 and in October three of nine. Two Israelis were killed by rockets that were not intercepted.
Following the system's poor showing in October, the IAF conducted a comprehensive review and discovered that a radar failure had caused some of the interceptors to miss their targets. Defence sources said that the problem has since been fixed.
The IAF is planning to deploy a fourth battery in the first quarter of 2012, possibly in the northern city of Haifa to protect oil refineries and ammonia tanks from rockets fired by the Lebanese group Hizbullah.
Iron Dome's ability to intercept rockets was impaired by a radar problem.
Source: Iron Dome hits 70% of militant rockets
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