A ‘Star Wars’ sequel in Ukraine? Iron Dome project seeks to protect country from missiles

Previous President Ronald Reagan dreamed of a “Star Wars” air-defense system that would defend the U.S. from incoming Soviet nuclear missiles, but the sci-fi-motivated Strategic Defensive Initiative technology proved much too pricey and difficult in the mid-1980s.

Four many years later, JustAnswer Main Executive Andy Kurtzig and the Lviv IT Cluster are acquiring what they phone the Ukraine Iron Dome, a mobile, all-climate air-defense framework intended to intercept and ruin rockets and artillery shells coming from Russia.

Code named Sky Challenge, the joint initiative is funded and equipped by JustAnswer, a San Francisco-primarily based organization with extra than 250 staff in war-ravaged Ukraine. The project’s other participants are the Lviv Army Administration, Ukraine Air Command West, Program Association of Japan, itSMF Japan and some others, while the partnership would welcome funding from Ukraine’s armed forces.

JustAnswer is creating with the Lviv IT Cluster what it phone calls the Ukraine Iron Dome, a mobile, all-climate air-defense method created to intercept and damage rockets and artillery shells.


Iron Dome is modeled immediately after an anti-missile and -rocket procedure in Israel that has proved exceptionally helpful. The prepare in Ukraine, which did not get support from Israel in producing the task, is to radically upgrade air defense in two levels — by revamping a command heart, and 45 cellular checking facilities that obtain info about incoming missiles — to radically boost an air defense that currently only swats down 20% of Russian rockets and missiles.

Ukraine has “an outdated, negative system that we are replacing in a startup-ey way with upgraded personal computer systems of subtle new components and software program,” Kurtzig, most likely the tech industry’s most vocal supporter of Ukraine, informed MarketWatch. “The U.S. has not helped to shut the skies from Working day 1 of this conflict,” he explained. His organization has preserved operations in Ukraine because the war started, and he recently visited staff members there.

“My excursion [in April] was wonderful and psychological, but there was also authentic fear,” Kurtzig reported. “Air-raid sirens strike home to me. They offer with it practically every single working day.”

The air-defense modernization exertion arrives amid President Joe Biden’s announcement on Wednesday of yet another $1 billion in weapons and aid for Ukraine, which has been a hotbed of tech innovation for expansion for U.S. firms for at minimum a decade.

Startups, midsize businesses and main makes such as Google mum or dad Alphabet Inc.  

Oracle Corp. 
 Cisco Methods Inc. 
 and Snap Inc. 
 have created major investments in Ukraine, a region that has been a vital resource for engineering talent, 3-D modeling and client company.

Study extra: Tech companies with workers in Ukraine spring crisis options into put

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