Israel began developing the ground-based system in 2007.After a series of test flights in 2008 and 2009, the first deployment of a battery occurred in southern Israel in 2011, according to IHS Jane's and the IDF.
The Israel Air Force reported an interception success rate of 70% in 2011, IHS Jane's said. "The radar detects a rocket launch and passes information regarding its path to the control center, which calculates the predicted point of impact," the IDF said.
Each Iron Dome battery costs $50 million, IHS Jane's said. A missile costs at least $62,000, Israeli officials said.
The initial development was solely by Israel's defense technology company Rafael, but the system has since been heavily sponsored by the United States.
In May 2010, the U.S. House approved a plan to allocate $205 million for Iron Dome. In July, President Barack Obama announced $70 million in U.S. funding.
"This is a program that has been critical in terms of providing security and safety for Israeli families," Obama said of the system. "It is a program that has been tested and has prevented missile strikes inside of Israel."
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