The Israeli Air Force (IAF) celebrated on Thursday, at exactly 5:16pm, five years since the first rocket interception by the Iron Dome system.
It began with the historic interception of a rocket fired from northern Gaza towards an Ashkelon neighborhood, and since then it has performed more than 1,000 anti-rocket interceptions from 8000 launches the system has identified. These were carried out in seven rounds of escalation and two operations (Operation Pillar of Fire and Operation Protective Edge). The system's success rate after five years is about ninety percent.
"It's like one's child's birthday, where you can recall where you were and what you did on that day," the commander of the air defense system, Brigadier General Zvika Haimovich told Ynet.
The senior officer, who was on duty as the air defense wing commander, noted that "it was only five weeks since we had received the system. We deployed it in the field on Sunday and on Thursday evening the first interception happened. I hurried out of the Defense Ministry to the area to investigate the interception, and on the way I received dozens of greetings on the phone."