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U.S. Army will acquire Israel’s Iron Dome air defense systems

Posted by Dylan Malyasov on


The U.S. Army is planning to acquire Israel-built combat-proven Iron Dome air defense system, according to Inside Defense newspaper.

According to a media report, the U.S. Army is seeking to buy two batteries of Iron Dome air defense system developed by Rafael Advanced Defence Systems.

It has sought to receive by 2020 two Iron Dome batteries with 12 launchers, 240 interception missiles, two battle-management systems and two radar systems to enable U.S. ground forces’ protection against artillery, rockets, cruise missiles, mortars and unmanned air vehicles in conflict areas globally, according to Inside Defense.

The previously unreported decision was detailed to Congress in a 14-page document dated Oct. 26, 2018 by Army acquisition executive Bruce Jette, the report said.

“Based on an analysis of cost, schedule and performance, the Army [has decided to]: field two interim IFPC batteries of Iron Dome in [fiscal year] 2020,” the Congressional document said, adding that it would concurrently explore the full adoption of the Israeli system by 2023.

Iron Dome is an all-weather air defense system designed to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells fired from distances of 2.5 mi to 43 mi away and whose trajectory would take them to a populated area.

The United States has reportedly been seeking a system to protect US ground forces from such threats in various conflict zones for several years now, and in the past has attempted to develop interceptor systems of their own.

Since 2011, the U.S. has paid Israel $1.4 billion towards development of Iron Dome. Moreover, US defense electronics company Raytheon has teamed with Rafael to produce the Iron Dome system, with over 50% of components manufactured in the US, within the framework of US Department of Defense requirements in return for the funding.

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