Home Explainer From Iron Dome To David’s Sling: How Israel Thwarted Iran’s Drone And...

From Iron Dome To David’s Sling: How Israel Thwarted Iran’s Drone And Missile Attacks

Israel’s night sky lit up with missiles and air raid sirens on the night of April 13 after Iran fired a barrage of drones and missiles in its first direct attack on the Israeli state.

The IDF claimed that 99% of these were intercepted before they could hit their targets in Israel.

IDF Spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said on April 14, “Iran and its proxies launched approx 350 suicide drones, cruise missiles, ballistic missiles and rockets from Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Hezbollah in Lebanon towards Israel.”

In defence, Israel deployed an array of short-range and long-range missiles of its own. Here’s a look at some of these defence systems and how they operate.


Israel’s most well-known defence system is the Iron Dome that has been used in the past too to intercept rockets fired from Gaza.

The Iron Dome, which became operational in 2011, consists of radar-guided missiles that are mounted on truck-towed units.

The system quickly determines whether a rocket is on course to hit a populated area.

If the system detects that there is no threat to an inhabited area, the rocket is ignored and allowed to land.

It can intercept short-range threats like rockets, mortars and drones mid-air.

A naval version of the Iron Dome was deployed in 2017 and used more recently to take down a drone that was fired towards the coastal tourist town of Eilat.


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This system is designed to shoot down ballistic missiles fired from 100 to 200 km away. David’s sling is a mid-range system.

David’s Sling is also designed to intercept aircraft, drones and cruise missiles.


The long-range Arrow-2 and Arrow-3 system, developed by Israel with an Iranian missile threat in mind, is designed to intercept ballistic missiles outside the earth’s atmosphere, using a detachable warhead that collides with the target.

It operates at an altitude that allows for the safe dispersal of any non-conventional warheads.

The Arrow system was used for the first time on the 31st of October to intercept a surface-to-surface missile in the Red Sea.


Israel is developing a laser-based system to neutralise enemy rockets and drones at an estimated cost of just $2 per interception.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “Whoever harms us, we will harm them. We will defend ourselves against any threat and we will do so level-headedly and with determination.” The US has warned Israel it will not be part of any retaliation against Iran.

Israel has called for new sanctions against Iran in the UNSC after Saturday night’s attack. Iran has said the attacks were in response to its consulate being targeted in Syria where at least 7 Iranian military advisors died.

(with inputs from Reuters)