Published — Friday 23 November 2012
Last update 23 November 2012 3:19 am
JERUSALEM: Israel’s Iron Dome interceptions of Palestinian rockets during eight days of Gaza fighting cost $ 25 million to $ 30 million, the government said yesterday, arguing the US-backed system was well worth the money. “Were Iron Dome traded on the stock exchange or Nasdaq, it would have multiplied its share value several times over,” Civil Defense Minister Avi Dichter told Israel Radio. Using radar-guided interceptor missiles, Israel’s five truck-towed Iron Dome batteries shot down 421 of some 1,500 rockets, the military said. It put Iron Dome’s success rate at 90 percent. To lower costs, the system engages only rockets that threaten populated areas, though it often fires two interceptor missiles at once. Israel says it needs 13 batteries for nationwide defense. A defense industry source put the unit cost for Israel at around $ 50 million.