US Army to Buy Some Israeli-Designed Iron Dome Missile Defense Systems
The US Army plans to buy a limited number of Iron Dome missile defense systems from Israel as it assesses options for its long-term needs, the military branch said in a statement on Wednesday.
Iron Dome has been billed as providing city-sized coverage against Katyusha-style rockets with ranges of between 5 kilometers (3 miles) and 70 kilometers (42 miles), as well as mortar bombs. The system uses small interceptor missiles to shoot down incoming threats and, according to Israeli and US officials, has had a 90 percent success rate in engagements on the Gaza border.
“The Iron Dome will be assessed and experimented as a system that is currently available to protect deployed US military service members against a wide variety of indirect fire threats and aerial threats,” the Army said in a statement.
“No decisions have been made regarding the fielding or experimentation of Iron Dome in specific theaters,” it added.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the deal was a “great achievement for Israel.”
“This is another manifestation of the deepening of our steadfast alliance with the United States, and an expression of Israel‘s rising status in the world,” he stated.
Iron Dome’s Israeli manufacturer, state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., confirmed the deal without providing further details.
Some US manufacturers like Raytheon Co provide parts for interceptors used in the system.
The Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC, tweeted, “The #IronDome has been invaluable for protecting the lives of innocent #Israeli citizens from rocket terror attacks. We hope that it helps save #American lives as it protects U.S. military service members against indirect fire and aerial threats.”
The #IronDome has been invaluable for protecting the lives of innocent #Israeli citizens from rocket terror attacks. We hope that it helps save #American lives as it protects U.S. military service members against indirect fire and aerial threats.https://t.co/O8cq5G1goI
— Embassy of Israel (@IsraelinUSA) February 6, 2019