The system has so far been installed in several communities along the Israel-Gaza border, and the IDF believes the installation will be completed by September. The decision to deploy the system followed IDF assessments suggesting the next conflict with Gaza-based terrorist groups will see them targeting border-adjacent communities with short-range projectiles.
The IDF believes the terrorist groups operating in Gaza understand that while the Iron Dome missile defense system can intercept 90 percent of the projectiles fired at populated areas in Israel, it has struggled to neutralize mortar shells, which have a range of up to 1 kilometer (six-tenths of a mile).
The military’s assessments are based, among other things, on the last days of Operation Protective Edge last summer, which saw incessant mortar fire at the border and nearby communities. Some 2,580 mortar shells were fired at the border-vicinity communities during the 50-day military campaign, five of which killed Israelis.