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Sunday, 11 March 2012

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"One problem for the Israelis is that where-as it only costs Hamas a few hundred dollars per rocket, the (home-made) Israeli missiles come in at roughly $50k each!"

I bet they are inflating the price by several hundred per cent in order to maximise profits in next year's arms fairs. Have you noticed how the Israeli pictures feature hi-tech glossy kit, whereas the Drudge photo is of something made out of old pallets and scaffolding?

Special price to you, my boy!

This article actually says that there is no cost-effective way to defend yourself against missiles. The US Navy must worry about that in the Gulf.

Well, DM, there are missiles and missiles. The relatively 'Billy-basic' ones used by Hamas can be defended against to a very high 90%. The cost is high but then the only other way is to take-over Gaza in its entirety and that might prove to be even more expensive.

90% is hopeless if the bloody things cost as little as squibs.

Not totally hopeless, DM, if you or yours are one of the targeted 90%!

Yes hopeless if it costs $50k to knock down each one. Though it must cost more, because some Israeli missiles must presumably miss. It's the opposite of the V1 and V2 problem, where the devices cost far more than any damage they did.

Here the article essentially admits the problem by explaining that the Yanks will pay.

Well, it becomes truly 'hopeless' if you can't afford it and eventually you run out of ammo, so to speak, but for the moment they seem able to pay even if they require American help. Also, remember that there is a 'cost' to Hamas who bring down on their own heads (and those of their host population) Israeli retribution each time they fire. If 90% of what they fire is rendered useless then they, too, will need to recalculate.

" If 90% of what they fire is rendered useless then they, too, will need to recalculate."

Correct. And there is yet another factor in play here. I used to live near Sderot, which is one of the closest population centres to the launchers, and is often targeted. This was some time ago, but one of the problems about recording rocket fire was that the majority of rockets landed harmlessly in the desert and the IDF had to follow up sightings of smoke trails with a search for the impact site. The "Qassam" rockets (there are many types) are very crude, and often miss entire towns. The majority are made in small set-ups like garages and building companies in Gaza, so you can imagine the quality control is not the best.

So knocking down 90% of all rockets launched, as well as a quick response in hitting the launch sites, is very demoralising for those launching them. I sometimes think the IDF welcome a little "collateral damage" as it drives a wedge between the militants and the rest of the population.

In addition, the defence against missiles plays well with the Brits, who have a powerful folk-memory of V1s and V2s in WW2.

Thanks for that, 'W'. Dare one ask what you were doing in, er, downtown Sderot?

It was a couple of kilometers away from the downtown bit, but I was busy milking cows!

Ah, a good man with a teat then, are you?

Providing they are Friesians, I flatter myself that I can provide satisfaction for most! Not done it for a while, though, or ever on British soil...

British cows don't know what they're missing!

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