US Army to buy Israeli Iron Dome air-defence systems
WASHINGTON: The US Army said Wednesday it wants to purchase a limited number of Iron Dome short-range air defence systems, an interceptor technology developed by Israel with US support.
Army spokesman Colonel Patrick Seiber said the deal would meet a short-term need to protect troops from “indirect fire” such as rockets and mortars. “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,” Seiber said in a statement.
Iron Dome systems have been in operation by the Israeli air force since 2011 and have seen frequent use in thwarting rocket attacks from Gaza and elsewhere.
Seiber said the US Army will “assess a variety of options” for a system that could be used in the long term. He did not immediately provide information on the value of the deal or the number of systems that would be purchased. The Iron Dome system was developed by Israel´s Rafael Advanced Defence Systems with the help of US funding.
It is designed to intercept rockets and artillery shells fired from a range of four to 70 kilometres. Each battery comprises detection and tracking radar, state-of-the-art fire control software and three launchers, each with 20 interceptor missiles.