According to CNN, on May 12, 2021, Hamas has launched rocket attacks towards Tel Aviv after an Israeli airstrike destroyed an office tower in Gaza.
The Israeli military announced that Hamas militias and Palestinian Islamist groups had launched nearly 500 rockets into the country in the past 24 hours. On average, a rocket fired at Israel every 3 minutes. Of these, 150 had problems after leaving the launch pad, 200 were intercepted by the Iron Dome system, the majority of the others shot into uninhabited places so they were not intercepted and caused no damage, but still some rockets got through the air defense net and hit the residential area, killing at least three Israeli civilians. One hit the oil conduction system and caused a big fire.
Iron Dome was still effective in dealing with sporadic attacks with rockets and mortars, but it was clearly imperfect and had to succumb to large-scale attacks with hundreds of targets. This has been acknowledged by the Israeli commanders themselves, and has been fully utilized by the Palestinian militias from 2019.
It is also a common problem with many modern air defense systems, which use high-precision missiles but are too expensive and in small quantities, not enough to intercept a large number of cheap attack weapons simultaneously.
Iron Dome is an all-weather mobile air defense missile system developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. It is a missile system designed to intercept and destroy missiles and rockets at ranges from 5 to 70 km. The Iron Dome defense system includes launchers, control and surveillance radars. It can automatically detect the types of oncoming targets and automatically launch missiles to intercept them.
Each Iron Dome system is equipped with 60 missile launchers, priced at about $50 million. Each Tamir interceptor missile that this system uses costs approximately $90,000. Expensive cost is a fatal downside to the system. Iron Dome’s every shot is worth nearly $100,000, while the target is probably just very inexpensive homemade rockets, priced at around $800 each.
With each attack, anti-Israel armed groups can launch hundreds of inexpensive rockets into Israeli territory. To intercept them, Israel will have to use hundreds of missiles, with a value possibly up to several tens of millions of dollars.