MIT: Israel’s ‘Iron Dome’ Success Likely a Myth

Israel Claims 84 Percent Success Rate, But Real Figure Could Be Far Lower

MIT’s Dr. Theodore Postol, an expert on missile success rates who was the driving force behind debunking US military claims about Patriot Missiles in the early 1990s has turned his attention on Israel’s extremely short-range Iron Dome missiles, drawing similar conclusions.

“If the interceptor is flying a crossing or diving trajectory compared to an incoming rocket, then you are not going to destroy the warhead,” noted Dr. Postol, saying that only 100% head-on collisions between Iron Dome and a rocket could reasonably be expected to destroy them.

Israel’s military is claiming an 84 percent success rate from the November Gaza War, a level Postol termed a “deception,” speculating that the claims may have been an attempt to convince the public a ground invasion of the strip wasn’t warranted after weeks of sabre-rattling.

Dr. Postol says that the real figure is likely in the single digits, somewhere around 5 percent and certainly no more than 10 percent. He says it is important that the US be aware of its limited utility since they are providing the bulk of the funding for a system that “hardly works.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.