“But it’s a defensive system!” Barak complained
The title of this article may seem wrong at first; after all the RAFAELdeveloped Iron Dome is a mobile air defense system designed to intercept short-range rockets and artillery shells. Why would the deployment of the Israeli Iron Dome in South Korea threaten North Korea? It’s a defensive system!
Through the magic of small-letters manipulation, governments often succeed to sell us lies; Iron Dome is a classic example of that. There are two points to pay attention to in the material published by Israel on this weapon. First, it is designed to intercept short-range threats up to 70 kilometers in all-weather situations. Second, as it can be seen in the picture above, it is a mobile system, similar in size to most weapons used by artillery corps.
This means it can be carried around by the artillery just behind the frontline, and neutralize missiles and artillery shells fired by the other side. Thus, strictly speaking, this is not a defensive weapon, but a frontline support-weapon, as all artillery is. Thus, I apologize to Ehud Barak and his friends if they don’t like the title of this article; however, reality is that the acquisition of Iron Dome by South Korea could have offensive implications towards North Korea.
Iron Dome Rocks
Against all odds, the two articles I published in the past about Iron Dome (Three Layers of Deception: On RAFAEL and Anti-Missiles Technology and IDF = Singapore’s Defense Forces) continued generating letters from the readers months after their publication. That was because I dared to oppose this weapon as it was presented (a defensive system designed to protect Sderot’s denizens); eventually, all the claims I presented proved right. Since this is relevant to this article, please let me present a short summary.
The Iron Dome is not a good solution to the Qassam rockets. The following data is public knowledge: The Qassam’s speed in the air is 200 meters per second. The distance from the edge of Beit Hanun to the outskirts of Sderot is 1800 meters. A rocket launched from Beit Hanun takes about nine seconds to hit Sderot. The preparations to launch the intercepting missile at their target take up to about 15 seconds (the system locates the target, determines the flight path and calculates the intercept route in that time). The Qassam will hit Sderot a number of seconds before the missile can intercept it even if launched. Other limitations exist and are also public. Yet, Israel’s Defense Minister keeps pouring money onto the project.
All the three anti-missiles weapons used by Israel (see and IDF = Singapore’s Defense Forces) are very expensive; countering an attack of fifty thousand missiles (the number of missiles allegedly aimed at Israel) is economically impossible. An Iron Dome final price is expected to be anywhere between forty to a hundred thousand dollars per unit. A Qassam is prepared for less than a hundred dollars.
Even if the Iron Dome has a 100% success rate, it may turn out being a hundred percent hits against 0.1% of the fired missiles or less. A drop in the sea. Each interceptor costs vastly more than the low-tech Qassam rockets from Gaza or the multiple-launch rocket mortars from Southern Lebanon. In more mathematical terms, the price ratio interceptor/missile is high, thus it cannot provide a solution. Yet, Israel’s Defense Minister keeps pouring money onto the project.
Since these two paragraphs were published, the Iron Dome became fully operational and was deployed. Every single time Iron Dome intercepted a rocket or a fly, I got emails claiming: “but you said….” Most interceptions were done from the distance, mainly against rockets aimed at Ashkelon, not at Sderot, which was the most bombed town.
Yet, on August 20, 2011, Iron Dome had its first operational failure. Seven rockets were fired almost simultaneously at Be’er Sheva from Gaza, one of them managed to bypass the Iron Dome defense system, and exploded in a residential area, killing Yossi Shushan. Brigadier General Doron Gavish, commander of the IAF’s Air Defense Corps, said the following day that “we said in advance that this wasn’t a hermetic system,” adding that the air defense units were learning on the fly and improving the performance of Iron Dome while operating it.
“This is the first system of its kind anywhere in the world; it is in its first operational test; and we’ve already intercepted a large number of rockets targeting Israeli communities, saving many civilian lives,” Gavish said. In other words, he tried to justify clumsily what had been predicted: “Even if the Iron Dome has a 100% success rate, it may turn out being a hundred percent hits against 0.1% of the fired missiles or less.” What would happen the day all 50,000 missiles aimed at Israel are fired?
As the IDF soon found, even with its carefully manipulated statistics, the Iron Dome shows only 75% accuracy. Why “carefully manipulated statistics?” This is because the IDF deployed the Iron Dome only in sites far enough from Gaza to provide the system a good chance of success. They don’t dare checking it against their initial claim to be able to protect Sderot! Israel needs to be able to market Iron Dome as a successful weapon, thus it takes cynical care with its deployment.
South Korean Military | Unclear Intentions
Why, Barak, Why?
At this stage something is clearly wrong. Israel claims it developed the Iron Dome to protect Sderot. Yet, by its technical definition, it would never be able to defend it. It would never provide a hermetic solution to a massive missiles attack. Yet, Israel’s Defense Minister keeps pouring money onto the project. Though, I admit it is mostly American taxpayers money given to Israel as military aid by the USA, and thus of less concern to Israel. Why, Barak, Why?
Intelligence Online, a Paris-based online magazine covering intelligence and security issues published in English on a bimonthly basis, claims in its issue of March 2010 that Singapore helped finance the Iron Dome system. This explains a lot, since now it is clear the technical specifications of the Iron Dome were decided by one of the main financers and not for the sake of Sderot denizens.
Iron Dome can protect Singapore; it can’t protect Sderot. If the Defense Ministry had really wanted to protect the residents, it could have acquired the Vulcan-Phalanx cannon system manufactured by Raytheon. These are deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq, where they are successfully used to protect American and NATO forces.
This link between Israel and Singapore is not new. Israel helped to create the marine commando forces of Singapore and since then keeps training them at the Shayetet 13 base in Atlit, south of Haifa. Every year during summer, foreign faces can be seen in the area. Israel’s commando was created during the WWII with the massive help of the Italian marine commando, which is considered to be one of the best in the world; this is yet another example of Israel acquiring technologies from someone and then selling them around.
Israel also helped build Singapore’s army, Singapore’s purchased IAI’s Barak surface-to-air missiles, Israel upgraded Singapore’s fighter planes, Rafael supplied drones for naval missions and Elbit Systems supplied Hermes drones.
What should the people of Sderot do? They are cynically used by Israeli politicians greedy to get more power and more money. They lives are being sacrificed for the sake of the Israeli military establishment deep pockets. Should they go on paying taxes? Should they go on serving in the IDF?
No more Skyhawks over Tel Aviv
In the beginning of 2012, the Israel Air Force is looking to replace its aging American-made A-4 Skyhawk jets, which are used to train fighter pilots. The two alternatives being considered are the Korean-made T-50 Golden Eagle and Italy’s M-346 Master. This deal alone is valued at around $1 billion. Both Italy and South Korea are fighting hard to win the bid.
How can one increase the chances of winning such a bid? By proposing reciprocal deals; both Italy and South Korea have promised to buy military equipment from Israel if they win the bid for the fighters. Italy proposed a reciprocal deal, under which it would purchase some $1 billion of defense equipment, including satellites, from Israel. In response, Korea proposed a deal worth $1.6 billion, which would include the purchase of Israeli-made radar systems, as well as contracts for upgrading helicopters and Hercules aircraft.
Last week, the Israel Air Force recommended purchasing the Italian planes. The South Korean answer was fierce. They proposed improving the reciprocal deal to include cooperation on a number of other projects, including the conversion of refueling jets, development of a Korean-made fighter jet and a helicopter and satellites. The cherry on top of this huge piece of cake is a deal for an Iron Dome system; which matches Israel’s top interests. The last would obviously be placed against North Korea.
Now everything is even clearer. All the people related to Rafael would enjoy a second round of profits, this time by imposing Iron Dome on South Korea, a country desperate to keep afloat its aviation industry. All that Defense Minister Barak needs to do is make sure the correct side wins the bid. Luckily for him, he decides. How does he earn more, by selling radars to Italy, or Iron Dome batteries to Korea?
“Yom Pkuda” is Hebrew for “The Day of the Order.” This is a euphemism for “The Day that War Begins,” since that is the day one gets an order to return to the army. Netanyahu is busy planning an attack on Iran. The Military Rabbinate is planning the Third Temple and General Gantz already announced Cast Lead II. The next Day of the Order seems inevitable and nearby. The day after it, Ehud Barak will discover the price of his greediness. Ezekiel 37:11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.