US Army to Buy Iron Dome Air Defense Systems

"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," the Army said in a statement

Photo: AP

The US Army plans to purchase a limited number of Iron Dome air defense system from Israel, both the Israeli MoD and the US Army announced Wednesday.

The decision was made as part of an agreement between the Israeli Ministry of Defense and the US Department of Defense to fill its short-term needs for an Indirect Fire Protection Capability (IFPC).

According to a statement from Israel's MoD, the systems will be purchased to meet "immediate needs of the US Army."

"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," US Army Col. Patrick Seiber said in a statement.

"While Iron Dome has been in operational use by the Israeli Air Force since 2011 and proven effective in combat, it should be noted that the US Army will assess a variety of options for its long-term IFPC solution," the statement continued.

"No decisions have been made regarding the fielding or experimentation of Iron Dome in specific theaters," Seiber added.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the deal was a "great achievement for Israel. This is another manifestation of the deepening of our steadfast alliance with the United States and an expression of Israel's rising status in the world."

Developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems as prime contractor, together with IAI/ELTA and mPrest, the system is designed to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells. The Iron Dome is part of Israel’s multi-layered air defense layout, which also includes the David’s Sling system as well as the Arrow-2 and Arrow-3.

 

[Sources: CNN, The New York Times, The Jerusalem Post, Haaretz]