Israel Delivers First Iron Dome Battery to U.S. Army

The Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO), under the Israel Ministry of Defense (IMoD), delivered the first of two Iron Dome Defense System batteries to the U.S. Army on Sept 30.

A symbolic event celebrating the delivery was held at the Iron Dome production line of defense contractor, Rafael Advanced Systems, in Israel. The event was attended by Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Minister of Economy Amir Peretz, Head of the IMoD’s Directorate of the Defense Research and Development (DDR&D) Dr. Dani Gold, Head of the IMDO Moshe Patel, Rafael Chairman Uzi Landau, and Rafael CEO Yoav Har-Even.

“The completion of this agreement serves as further proof that the defense alliance [between the U.S. and Israel], is based on common values and interests, which are stronger than ever.”, said Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz.

The two Iron Dome batteries being procured by the U.S. Army includes two command posts and radars, 12 launchers, and 480 missiles.

The batteries are being delivered to Army’s White Sands Missile Range (WMSR) in New Mexico to undergo the equipment fielding and training program. The rigorous testing of each system will end with a live-fire engagement to shoot down a surrogate cruise missile target.

After the testing, the Iron Dome batteries will officially stand up at Fort Bliss, Texas, and be available for operational deployment by September 2021 and December 2021, respectively.

The Iron Dome procurement is under the Army’s Indirect Fire Protection Capability (IFPC) program to acquire the capability to defeat everything from rockets and mortars to incoming cruise missiles. The procurement was initiated after lawmakers made the provision in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for interim cruise missile defense capability following which the Army awarded a contract to the Israel Missile Defense Organization, or IMDO, for two batteries of Iron Dome.

Iron Dome is an Israeli mobile all-weather air defense system developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). The system is designed to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells fired from distances of 4 kilometers (2.5 mi) to 70 kilometers (43 mi) away.

The system has been used by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) effectively in over 2,400 combat engagements.

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