Iron Dome is a mobile all-weather air defense system developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries. The system is designed to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells fired from distances of 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) to 70 kilometres (43 mi) away and whose trajectory would take them to a populated area. Israel hopes to increase the range of Iron Dome's interceptions، from the current maximum of 70 kilometres (43 mi) to 250 kilometres (160 mi) and make it more versatile so that it could intercept rockets coming from two directions simultaneously.
Iron Dome was declared operational and initially deployed on 27 March 2011 near Beersheba. On 7 April 2011، the system successfully intercepted a BM-21 Grad launched from Gaza for the first time. On 10 March 2012، The Jerusalem Post reported that the system shot down 90% of rockets launched from Gaza that would have landed in populated areas. By November 2012، official statements indicated that it had intercepted 400+ rockets. By late October 2014، the Iron Dome systems had intercepted over 1،200 rockets.
In addition to their land-based deployment، Iron Dome batteries will in the future be deployed at sea، where they will protect off-shore gas platforms in conjunction with Israel's Barak 8 missile system.
Iron Dome is part of a future multi-tiered missile defense system that Israel is developing، which will also include Arrow 2، Arrow 3، Iron Beam، Barak 8 and David's Sling as early as 2018.
Testing July 2008: the Tamir interceptor missile underwent successful testing. March 2009: Israel successfully tested the missile defense system، though without yet actually intercepting an actual projectile. July 2009: the system successfully intercepted a number of rockets mimicking Qassam and short-range Katyusha rockets in a Defense Ministry test. August 2009: the IDF completed the establishment of a new battalion that will operate the Iron Dome system. The battalion is a part of the Israel Air Force's Air Defense Division. The system was to be first deployed along the Gaza border and then along the border with Lebanon. The system was slated to start operating in mid-2010. January 2010: Iron Dome successfully intercepted multiple rocket barrages mimicking Qassams and Katyushas. Defense Ministry Director-General Pinhas Buchris stated that the system would ultimately "transform" security for the residents of southern and northern Israel. July 2010: The system successfully intercepted multiple rocket barrages mimicking Qassams and Katyushas. During the test، Iron Dome successfully distinguished rockets which were threats from those that would not land in designated areas and did not need to be intercepted. March 2011: Iron Dome was declared operational by the IDF، and Defense Minister Ehud Barak authorized deployment. During the first stage of Iron Dome's operational duty، the Israeli Air Force included many soldiers from Sderot، citing high motivation among the city's pre-army youth to be part of the project. The 947th "Marksmen" Stinger Battalion of the Israeli Air Defense Network was chosen as the first unit to become familiar with and operate Iron Dome.
Deployment: The Iron Dome system began operating in early 2011، initially deployed at air force bases in southern Israel. It was designated to be set up in other areas، such as the town of Sderot، during significant escalations along the Gaza border.