As Gaza terrorists fired dozens of short and long-range rockets at southern Israel in the first weeks of 2009, Israeli weapons developers were following the attacks and taking advantage of the opportunity to examine terrorists' weapons arsenal. Developers hope the latest data will assist in the development of the Iron Dome protective system.
Terrorists have attacked using a variety of rockets and mortar shells since a six-month Gaza ceasefire officially ended last December. Among the rockets were many capable of hitting targets up to 40 kilometers from Gaza.
Experts studied the rockets' trajectories under varying conditions and Iron Dome's ability to detect them. Rockets fired from Gaza usually hit southern Israel within one minute or less, leaving the system with little time to respond.
Developers say the Iron Dome system will be able to intercept rockets, destroying them before they can hit Israeli towns. The system is scheduled to be tested in 2009 and is scheduled to be operational in 2010.
Iron Dome is not expected to intercept short-range rockets fired on cities close to Gaza such as Sderot. The government has voted to protect those towns by fortifying buildings and building new bomb shelters.