IDF unveils missile alert system for homes

Iron Dome
Iron Dome

The IDF system, developed with Beeper Communications, warns to within a square kilometer where the missile will hit.

Two years after Operation Protective Edge, a decade after the Second Lebanon War, with several in between rounds of fighting on Israel's southern border, the Home Front Command is revealing a new development likely to significantly improve warning for the public about missile and artillery fire against the home front.

This development, led by the Home Front Command, together with Beeper Communications Israel, features a private home siren that will provide real time warnings and call on tenants to quickly take cover or enter their protected area. According to Home Front Command Planning Department Commander Col. Itzik Gai, the home warning kit will be offered for sale to the general public within a few months, although he had difficulty in predicting the price.

In the rounds of fighting over the past decade in the north and the Gaza Strip, which were accompanied by heavy barrages of missiles and rockets fired against the home front, the defense establishment has learned that not everyone hears the sirens spread around the outskirts of cities. 3,000 such sirens are distributed all over Israel, and the Home Front Command says that they are regularly maintained and work well.

During summer and winter, however, the windows in many homes are closed. Air conditioning systems operate during many hours, and when combined with other home electrical appliances, it is difficult, and sometimes, impossible, to hear the siren.

In recent years, the Home Front Command has already led plans to develop apps for real time warning about missiles and rockets using mobile telephones or home computers, in addition to a personal warning delivered by means of cellphones in the territory against which the threat is directed. The personal warning system is being presented as a supplementary means of ensuring that none of us misses a warning: "The national siren system will continue to be the bulldozer for delivering warnings to the public, but the personal systems will be supplementary components," Gai stated.

Like the apps that have already been developed, some of which were also used during Operation Protective Edge two years ago, the home warning system will operate only if the missile or rocket threatens that particular space, thereby avoiding disrupting the daily routine in other areas.

The Home Front Command currently divides Israel into 264 polygons siren areas in which an alarm is activated according to identification of the missile or rocket's flight path and a calculation of where it will land. In the polygon in which the missile will hit, the alarm system will be immediately activated, and the public there will be asked to quickly enter the protected area or to take cover, depending on the instructions issued by the Home Front Command, independently of the attempt to intercept the threat in flight with Iron Dome, David's Sling, or Arrow missiles.

According to the IDF, this trend will be developed in the coming years, and the ability to provide rapid and accurate warnings to civilians will improve. "We're already thinking about delivering an earlier warning focused on a single square kilometer. We're also thinking about a personal warning to be delivered to a civilian wearing a personal ring, special buzzer, or even directly to a smart watch. It won't happen tomorrow morning, but it can be assumed that it will happen in the next decade, so that warnings will become much more personalized. Someone who gets such a warning, for example on their morning run, can understand that if he got it, then he is on or near the place where the rocket will hit, and should therefore hurry to take cover. Anyone who did not get the warning can continue doing whatever they were doing. This facilitates command continuity needed in the economy," Gai commented.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on August 18, 2016

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2016

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