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The Start-up Nation needed a solution to combat thousands of terrorist rockets, and now that technology has far-reaching benefits

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The Iron Dome development has helped turn Rafael into a $3B defense system company | Photo: Rafael

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In the summer of 2006, some 4,200 rockets rained upon northern Israel from Lebanon. The population of the north was compelled to either move to relatives and friends in the centre of the country, or to move underground to shelters. The situation was untenable.

In the spirit of the “Startup Nation” mantra to “assess the situation and then act”, Israel was compelled to invent something to defend its people that did not yet exist.

In order to prevent high volume rocket fire from reaching Israel’s urban centres, an immensely complex interceptor system made up of highly intricate technology would have to be created by Rafael, the Israeli government weapons system development arm.

Radar would have to be developed that would pick up rockets of less than three feet in length from the moment of launch, and estimate when and where they would fall. Software would have to accurately project which rockets would need to be intercepted, and which would be allowed to fall in open areas like the sea.

Interceptor rockets traveling at a speed of two kilometers per second would need to be developed to hit the incoming rocket. The Israeli rocket would then need to detonate its 170 kilos of explosives at precisely the right moment to demolish the terrorists’ rocket.

If that wasn’t enough, the system would have to determine where the debris of both rockets should fall so as not to cause any damage.

The system would have to be compact, easy to move, and affordable. Four years and $1.5B in US financing later, the Iron Dome was deployed.

A  defense department expert in Israel explained the life-saving device’s genesis and capabilities to Zoom viewers, in a recent talk sponsored by Chabad of Saskatchewan.

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Since its deployment in April 2017, Iron Dome has been utilized two thousand times with an unbelievable 90 per cent success rate. Rafael’s VP Pini Yungman recently reported that following the latest upgrades to the Iron Dome system, a hundred per cent of targets were destroyed in the field tests.

After an attack by Iranian drones on Saudi Arabian oil infrastructure sites in September 2019, in February of this year, Rafael announced that in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries, Elbit and a number of civilian companies, the new “Drone Dome” has been deployed. This system uses laser cannons to destroy squadrons of attacking drones and UAV’s (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) at a distance of many kilometers. Many of these multi-million dollar drone defense systems have already been sold, including six systems sold to the UK army.

The Iron Dome and its new longer-range version, David’s Sling, exclusively utilizes Israeli made parts and systems. These now form the foundation of Israel’s multi-layer missile defense system, which cover more than 90 per cent of all missiles that could be shot at Israel. The newest version is the Sahar 5 naval-based version.

An Iron Dome missile costs less than 10 per cent of the cost of a conventional missile. As such, it is the most effective missile interceptor system in the world. The Iron Dome development has helped turn Rafael into a $3B defense system company.

But Rafael has also transferred its technology to spawn many products and businesses in a number of diverse fields. Its medical applications include insulin delivery and cryotherapy. It has developed businesses in the field of semiconductors, laser technology, broadband wireless systems, imaging, and high tech cameras.

It has sold companies to Microsoft and Hoffman La Roche, amongst others, which allows the Israeli Government to recoup their cost of development, and employ hundreds of engineers and scientists in profitable business entities.

One such company is mPrest. Amongst its numerous predictive technologies, this company, which is 50 per cent owned by Rafael, offers “smart grid” technology that can predict power outages and proactively reroute the electrical grid to prevent blackouts. 

Amongst the jurisdictions that have purchased this technology are New York, San Diego, and Guelph Ontario, where Ellis Don, the huge London, Ontario-based construction company, has both installed this technology and created a joint venture with mPrest, to spread this technology to the world’s $60B “smart grid” market.

After all is said and done, the rockets from Lebanon compelled Israel to create new technologies, which defend the country, created dozens of new businesses, employ thousands, earn billions, make the world a safer and healthier place to live and provide the power to brew our morning coffee.

And isn’t that just what we have come to expect from Israel, the miracle of the Middle East.

Zale Newman is the founder and President of Bond Street Mercantile, a Toronto-based fund management company which offers 4 opportunities for Canadians to invest in Israel, via its Holy Land Investment Fund and its Canada Israel Infrastructure Funds, including the newly released Canada Israel Infrastructure Fund 2020.

He is an award-winning author and essayist who was recently awarded the First Place Award for Excellence from the American Jewish Press Association.

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

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