Tests of upgrades of the Iron Dome defense system were successfully carried out in Israel Monday. The Israeli Defense Ministry, which carried out the tests in partnership with manufacturers Rafael Advanced Defense systems, said that the upgrades are designed to give the Iron Dome “improved capabilities against an unprecedented range of threats.” It added that they will lead to an upgrade in Iron Dome’s operational capabilities, with a focus on protecting large residential areas susceptible to rocket fire.
One improved Iron Dome battery, which is capable of intercepting projectiles with a longer range, was deployed during Operation Pillar of Defense in November to defend the greater Tel Aviv area.
The system shot down several medium-range Iranian-made Fajr 5 rockets fired by terrorists from Gaza at central Israel.
In all five Iron Dome batteries were used during the Gaza conflict. They succeeded in intercepting more than 90 percent of Palestinian Arab rockets heading towards city centers.
In November the first phase of a new defense system, David’s Sling, was successfully completed. At the time Israel’s Ministry of Defense released a statement that read in part: “The DSWS is designed to provide an additional layer of defense against ballistic missiles by adding additional opportunities for interception to the joint U.S.-Israel Arrow Weapon System, resulting in an improvement in the State of Israel’s defense architecture against missile threats.”