During his first trip to Israel as commander-in-chief Wednesday, President Obama toured the country’s high-tech, highly effective Iron Dome missile defense system. The U.S. has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into funding Iron Dome, which is used to counter incoming missiles and rockets.
Israel’s military says Iron Dome stopped 84% of incoming rockets during last November’s Hamas attacks. The mobile systems are deployed around the 8,000 square miles of Israel, depending on where conflicts exist, officials said.
A ground radar system detects enemy missiles once they are launched and Iron Dome interceptors are fired in response. Officials say that Iron Dome is more effective than other defense systems because it only targets missiles headed for populated areas, ignoring missiles going into farmlands and rural areas.
Currently, Israel has five Iron Dome systems, and the military says it needs 15 to cover the entire country.