US Marines Successfully Complete 3 Live-Fire Tests of Iron Dome Interceptor
The United States Marine Corps has successfully completed a series of of live-fire tests incorporating the Iron Dome interceptor, Israel’s Ministry of Defense announced Wednesday.
The tests were conducted as part of the Marine Corps’ development of its Medium-Range Intercept Capability (MRIC) prototype, which began in 2018 to address a gap in its integrated air defenses against cruise missiles.
A total of three interception tests took place in the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico this year, the final of which “included the system’s successful interception of multiple targets in various trajectories,” the MoD stated.
The Iron Dome’s Tamir interceptor was also successfully tested using a new mobile launcher developed for the Marine Corps, in combination with the Marines’ radar and battle management systems.
This year’s tests “proved that the performance of the MRIC system with Iron Dome interceptors is good and provides a dedicated launcher solution for the Marines,” said Don Kelly, program manager for ground-based air defense at PEO Land Systems, a program executive office in the Marine Corps that is based in Quantico, Virginia.
Moshe Patel, head of the Israel Missile Defense Organization in the Ministry of Defense, called the final test “further proof” that the Iron Dome interceptor and associated components can integrate “in any relevant defense architecture and intercept various aerial threats successfully in complex and advanced scenarios.”
“We welcome any cooperation in the field of defense with the branches of the US military,” Patel said.
Israel’s Iron Dome system, developed with US support, is designed for short range threats and has been extensively used to intercept rockets and mortars fired by Palestinian terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip towards populated areas in Israel. Its Tamir interceptor is also capable of intercepting cruise missiles, artillery, and drones.
The Iron Dome is one layer of Israel’s multi-tier air defense array, which includes the medium-range David’s Sling, the anti-ballistic Arrow 2 and 3 systems, and the Iron Beam laser weapon system.