US Army ‘Successfully’ Tests Israel’s Iron Dome in Live Fire Interception
Israel’s Iron Dome air defense passed its latest test with flying colors as it successfully detected and destroyed a range of targets during a live fire exercise carried out by the US Army.
The US Army together with the Israeli Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) “took a critical step toward fielding the first of two Iron Dome Defense System-Army (IDDS-A) batteries,” Israel’s Defense Ministry stated Tuesday.
The flight test at the White Sands missile range in New Mexico was conducted by US Army soldiers assigned to the 3-43 Air Defense Artillery Battalion. The US and Israel in 2019 signed an agreement for the purchase of the two Iron Dome aerial defense batteries made by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.
“This is the second interception test since the two batteries were supplied to the US Army at the end of 2020,” said Moshe Patel, head of the Defense Ministry’s IMDO.
The testing is meant to prepare the system for use by US forces, ensuring it conforms with US Army safety standards and that it can operate effectively within the US air and missile defense structure, the Defense Ministry noted.
The Iron Dome batteries are being tailored to help US Army soldiers combat incoming sub-sonic cruise missiles, groups of two and three unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), and rockets, artillery, and mortar threats.
“It’s important to understand that implementation for the US is about the ability to integrate this system into our air defense picture,” said Maj. Gen. Brian Gibson, director of the US Army’s Air and Missile Defense Cross-Functional Team. “We need to integrate this into our US architecture, and to give confidence to our regional commanders that we can integrate this system safely into what they have.”
The US Army bought the IDDS-A batteries as an interim cruise missile defense solution, while continuing to buy an Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2 system, a statement by Israel’s Defense Ministry read.