Iron Dome to be Tested by US Army for Use in Europe

Rafael's air defense system will compete in a SHORAD intercept test conducted by the US Army at the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. The service is considering new systems for its military bases in Europe

The Iron Dome system (Photo: Ariel Shalit, AP)

The Iron Dome air defense system will be field-tested in the United States as part of the US Army's demonstration aimed at selecting an interim solution for a medium- and short-range air defense system, according to Defense News.

The US Army launched its SHORAD demonstration on Sept. 4 at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. Defense News reports that the service identified a major gap in short-range air defense (SHORAD) capability, and there is an urgent operational need to fill that gap in the European theater. The demonstration will close out on Sept. 16.

The US Army did not reveal the identity of the vendors and their solutions but noted the service will analyze the offerings through acquisition and tracking tests and a live fire against ground targets and unmanned aerial systems.

The Iron Dome will compete against three other potential solutions, including a Boeing and General Dynamics Land Systems team that is offering its Maneuver SHORAD Launcher Stryker. Rafael is partnered with Raytheon, which produces more than 50 percent of components for the Iron Dome’s Tamir intercepting missile in the United States.

If selected by the US Army, the Iron Dome will become an entirely US system, with Raytheon serving as the prime contractor and Rafael providing subcontractor support. The US Army has not yet laid out a timeline to procure an interim SHORAD solution following the demonstration at White Sands.

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