US in talks with Israel to buy more iron dome systems – Breaking Defense Breaking Defense


Fire in the iron dome Credit: Tsahal

TEL AVIV: The performance of Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system during the clashes in Gaza that ended in a ceasefire on May 20 sparked talks between Israel and the United States over the purchase of a most of the missile defense system for the US military, according to Israeli defense sources here.

“The fact that the Iron Dome intercepted large bursts of rockets launched from Gaza as well as armed drones is already sparking great interest in the channels between the Israeli and US defense ministries,” a defense source told BD.

Additionally, President Joe Biden announced yesterday that the United States will help Israel renew its arsenal of Iron Dome interceptors. The United States, in effect, will replace the large number of interceptors used by Israel.

The updated data shows that approximately 3,000 of the rockets fired in the current operation entered Israeli territory until the ceasefire, which went into effect on May 20 at 2 a.m. Israeli time. The system’s ability to discriminate between threats directed at a populated area – which it intercepts with a high success rate – and those that will fall into the sea or open fields – which it does not bother to shoot at – reduces costs and limits unnecessary interceptor launches. A single battery can protect a medium-sized city.

The rest of the rockets landed in the Gaza Strip. Of the 3,000 missiles that entered Israel, more than 1,500 were supposed to fall in populated areas. (Remember, Iron Dome does not try to intercept missiles that are projected to fall in uninhabited areas). A summary of all the data shows that of the 1,500 en route to populated areas, the Iron Dome system intercepted 1,428 missiles for a destruction rate of 95%.

CREDIT: Tsahal

Raytheon, Rafael’s US partner, manufactures subsystems for the Iron Dome in 15 states. These are currently sent to Rafael’s main plant in Israel for final assembly. Rafael and Raytheon Technologies signed a joint venture agreement in May 2020 to produce Iron Dome interceptors and launchers at a plant in the United States. The partnership is called Raytheon Rafael Area Protection Systems (R2S).

Iron Dome was first fired ten years ago. Its development began in December 2007, and it was completed in less than three years.

Since then, Iron Dome has been instrumental in every Israeli conflict, preventing thousands of warheads from hitting Israel. It is designed to defeat very short range threats (VSHORAD), as well as threats from rockets, artillery and mortar (C-RAM), airplanes, helicopters, drones, PGMs and cruise missiles. .

In August 2019, the Israeli Ministry of Defense and the US Department of Defense signed an agreement to purchase two Iron Dome batteries for the US military. Both batteries have now been delivered to the United States. The service has been reluctant to acquire more, citing difficulties in integrating Israeli technology into US command and control systems, but Iron Dome enjoys strong support in Congress.


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