ISW Publishes Must Read Backgrounder on Israeli Integrated Missile Defense System

Printer-friendly version

Israel exists under a threat of mortar, rocket, and missile attack that has grown from intermittent harassment to a constant and existential strategic threat.

In a new Backgrounder titled “ Threat and Response: Israeli Missile Defense,” ISW Senior Naval Analyst Christopher Harmer provides a clear picture of the technology and weapons used to attack Israel, as well as the defense initiatives the Israel Defense forces (IDF) have used to counter these threats, namely the world’s first battle-tested, integrated missile defense shield. 

At the tactical level, the Iron Dome component of the IDF missile shield has proven effective at intercepting inbound mortars and rockets from both Gaza and southern Lebanon. From a strategic perspective, the system has changed the risk/reward ratio for Hamas and Hezbollah operatives. Harmer examines the types of weapons that threaten Israel, including mortars, rockets, and the infamous Scud, Shahab and Sejil missiles.

Israel’s Iron Dome, along with other systems like David’s Sling and Arrow and Patriot missiles, have changed the way players on both sides operate, and thus is a critical piece of defensive equipment that will continue to shape the course of regional security.

To speak with Christopher Harmer, please contact Stephanie Swierczek at or call us at 202-293-5550.




The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) is a non-partisan, non-profit, public policy research organization. ISW advances an informed understanding of military affairs through reliable research, trusted analysis, and innovative education. We are committed to improving the nation’s ability to execute military operations and respond to emerging threats in order to achieve U.S. strategic objectives.