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Story: Iron dome versus S400.

Russian S-400 v Israel's Iron Dome air defence | Pros-Cons.

Updated: 07-02-2024;

• Russian S400 versus the Israeli Iron Dome which Air Defense System is more effective?

The fact based comparison of both Iron Dome and S-400 air defence systems, and their abilities and weaknesses and how they defend the country against the onslaught of enemies Air Strikes.

Israeli Iron Dome:

Israel defends rocket barrage fired from Gaza Strip, with the help of Iron Dome. Experts believe that Iron Dome has around 80 to 90% success rate in intercepting the incoming rockets.

Iron Dome is an Israeli short to mid-range Air Defence System.

• It is serving Israeli military since 2011.

Iron Dome Stats:

• The Iron Dome air defense system is said have a accuracy rate of 80% to 90%.

• On 7 April 2011, the system successfully intercepted a BM-21 Grad launched from Gaza for the first time.

• Served:2011 till present. Designed 2005- Present.

• Per Unit cost: $50 million per battery, and $40,000 per missile.

• Mass: 90 kg (200 lb), and it's Length is 3 m (9.8 ft), while Diameter is 160 mm (6.3 in).

• Detonation Mechanism: Proximity fuze, Iron Dome has Maximum speed of Mach 2.2

• Launch Platform: Three/four launchers, each carrying 20 interceptors.

• 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.)

Russian S400:

Now let's talk about the Russian S400 which is said to be the “most advanced air defense system in the world currently available”, Siemon Wezeman of Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said “it is among the most advanced air defence systems available.”

However some have questioned the efficiency of the missile system.

• Sanctions or threats of sanctions, to the countries who are willing to buy one of these “S400” by US, is quite evident of the lethality of the defense system itself.

The S400 Russian air defense system was first bought by China and the deal was confirmed in 2015, while delivery of the system began in January 2018.

Turkey also aacquired S-400 from Russia, Turkey received its first installment of the Russian S-400 missile defense system on 12 July 2019.

• The US threatened Turkey sanctions, and on 17 July suspended Turkey from the F-35 program, as of 2020, 4 batteries consisting of 36 fire units, and 192+ missiles were delivered to Turkey.

India did also bought the defence system in December 2021, and the first unit was deployed in Punjab and is operational, according to officials.

Countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia and many others are in negotiations with Russia over deals of S-400 defense system.

Russian S400 Stats:

Type: Mobile surface-to-air missile/anti-ballistic missile system.

• Served: 28 April 2007 – present.

• Unit cost: $300 million per fire unit (artillery battalion) that consists of 9 launchers, 120 missiles, command and support vehicle.

• Maximum target speed: 4.8 km/s (17,000 km/h; 11,000 mph; Mach 14), S400 has Target detection capabilities from distance (km) 600, while Range against aerodynamic target (km) is Maximum 400 km. while Minimum Range is approx 2 km. Range against tactical ballistic targets (km) is Maximum 60 km. and Minimum is 5 km.

• The number of simultaneously engaged targets (full system): 80, while the number of simultaneously guided missiles (full system): 160, can use 2 missile to attack 1 target.

• A regular S-400 battalion consists of at least eight launchers with 32 missiles and a mobile command post.

• On 21 May 2007, the Russian Air Force announced that S-400 would be put on combat duty around Moscow and Central Russia by 1 July 2007. The S-400 was also deployed near the town of ElektrosJul.

Cons/weakness:

Like every man made machine the Iron Dome and S-400 have there own weaknesses which could be well exploited if known by the enemy.

Israel's Iron Dome:

• Vulnerability of iron dome are well studied by a few experts, and they claim that Iron Dome could be exploited if those vulnerabilities are known.

• The Iron Dome is a short range missile interceptor and can not be used for long range or big territorial air defence.

• It has come across against unguided missiles or technologically in-advanced rockets so far, and not against much more powerful and advanced missiles so far.

Russia's S-400 :

• The Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air missile (SAM) is the most advanced air defense system in the world, capable of bringing down the F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter jets, and hardly any flaws are studied or found in the system it self.

• Some experts suggest if a fighter jet fly at very low altitude and fire supersonic cruise missile like Brahmos -NG from a far distance , then S-400 might not intercept it due to technical vulnerabilities, within the system.

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