The Israeli air force has deployed a new Iron Dome rocket interceptor system in central Israel, just days after it was completed by teams from Rafael and Israel Aerospace Industries.

Iron Dome firing
 Rex Features
Equipped with an upgraded radar developed by IAI's Elta Systems division, the new battery has achieved an intercept rate of more than 90%, in spite of its emergency deployment. The system had been due to enter use in January 2013.

The fifth such anti-rocket battery to have been fielded, the new system in Gush Dan is covering the Tel Aviv area. However, the air force will need at least five more to cover Israel from all potential "threat zones".

Approach and take-off patterns at Ben Gurion international airport near Tel Aviv have been changed as a result of the rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip.

Israel's armed forces have attacked about 1,400 targets since its "Pillar of Defense" operation was launched on 14 November. The nation's defence force says approximately 100 sites were targeted overnight on 19-20 November, while ceasefire talks continued.

Source: Flight International