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Sunday, December 22, 2013

How many missiles could Israel shoot down?

This article about the possibility of a short but intense war between Israel and Hezbullah has some frightening talk about how many missiles are likely to get through and hit us.
A key protection system will be the much-vaunted, four-tier missile defense shield known as Homa, The Wall in Hebrew. This includes the long-range Arrow 3 system, designed to destroy Iranian ballistic missiles outside Earth's atmosphere, down to the Iron Dome, which has by official count shot down 84.6 percent of the short-range Palestinian rockets it has engaged in the last two years.
Even so, whatever the dimensions and capabilities of the generals' plan, another report poured cold water on Israeli expectations of survival in the next war, which will -- for the first time since the state was founded in 1948, a half dozen wars ago -- target the home front.
Nathan Faber of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at the Technion, Israel's Institute of Technology, warned in an article on the website of the Magen Laoref, or Homefront Shield, foundation, that the Homa could crumble due to technological, operational and financial reasons in a multifront war with Hezbollah, Iran and others.
Faber, formerly chief scientist in the military's missile division, said at least one-third of all missiles fired at Israel will in all probability get through.
He calculates Israel could be threatened by 800 Iranian Shehab-3b and more advanced Sejjil-2 ballistic missiles, and 400 Soviet-era Scud ballistic missiles held by Syria, some of which may be used in its 33-month-old civil war.
There will also be 500-1,000 medium-range tactical missiles -- like Iran's Fajr or Fateh weapons, which Hezbollah already has -- and more than 100,000 short-range rockets held by Syria, Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas group in Gaza.
Faber reckons about one-third of the missiles fired at Israel will be intercepted by the air force, another third will malfunction and one third will get through defensive screens, including about 400 of the 1,200 ballistic systems.
Regarding tactical missiles, Faber noted that "since these are very precise missiles the great majority of them will hit their target" after evading the anti-missile defenses.
He calculates Iron Dome -- which he assesses has a kill rate of only 66 percent -- will have to deal with 30,000 rockets.
The cost will be awesome -- and possibly prohibitive.
By Faber's tally, Iron Dome operations will cost $6 billion, countering 400 ballistic missiles another $3 billion, while mid-range interceptions will total as much as $2 billion.
Actually, the cost should be the least of our issues... if only we didn't waste so much money....

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At 3:32 AM, Blogger Empress Trudy said...

How many can Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and the PLO shoot down? Defense is necessary but it's not the ratio sum ultra. If all those opponents are blase about stopping missiles then fine. Let's see how they defend Beirut, Damascus, Gaza and Ramallah.


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