Defense Ministry completes trials of advanced version of the Iron Dome 

Source: Defense Ministry completes trials of advanced version of the Iron Dome – The Jerusalem Post

A decade since the first successful interception test of the Iron Dome system, Israel took a step closer to defending itself against heavy missile barrages with a series of complex but successful experiments for the advanced version of the missile defense system.

The complex series of experiments were carried out by Rafael Advanced Systems and the  Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO), in the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D), of the Israel Ministry of Defense in the south of the country.

The tests demonstrated the capabilities of an advanced version of the Iron Dome system in a variety of scenarios that simulated the future threats that the system may confront.

“The success of the experiments is an important milestone for Israel’s operational ability to defend itself against existing and future threats in the region,”  the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The test was conducted ten years after the first test series of the Iron Dome, which was completed on January 6th, 2010.

Moshe Patel, the Director of Israel Missile Defense Organization said that “throughout the last decade, we have conducted tens of interceptions as part of a framework of tests and more than 2000 operational interceptions. The system tested most recently is an upgraded and improved version of the Iron Dome.”

According to Patel, when it will be delivered to the IDF, the Air Force (IAF) will be equipped to confront evolving threats in the region.

Rafael Executive Vice President and Head of RAFAEL’S Air and Missile Defense Division, Brig.-Gen. (res.) Pini Yungman said that the tests were completed with a 100 percent success rate, intercepting all threats.

“Following the test series, we can confidently say that the State of Israel is highly defended, more than ever before” he said.

The primary contractor for the development of the Iron Dome is RAFAEL. The MMR radar is developed by ELTA, a subsidiary of the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), and the command and control system is developed by mPrest.

After a lengthy development process, and with the financial help of the United States, the Iron Dome went into service in April 2011, with its first battery placed near the southern Israeli city of Beersheba. Just days later it made its first interception of a grad rocket fired from the Gaza Strip towards southern Israel. To date, the Iron Dome has successfully carried out over 2,400 interceptions.

The Iron Dome has been used during two military operations against terror groups in the Hamas-run coastal enclave and during the last year and a half of violence along the Gaza border which has spilled over to several rounds of rocket fire. Rockets fired towards Israel from war-torn Syria have also been intercepted by the system.

The Rafael-built system carries 24 pounds of explosives and can intercept an incoming projectile from four to 70 kilometers away  and is able to calculate when rockets will land in open areas, choosing not to intercept them, or towards civilian centers.

The Iron Dome, which is designed to shoot down short-range rockets, is an integral component of Israel’s multi-layered defense array,

The Arrow (Arrow-2 and Arrow-3) system intercepts ballistic missiles outside of the Earth’s atmosphere and the David’s Sling missile defense system which is designed to intercept tactical ballistic missiles, medium- to long-range rockets, as well as cruise missiles fired at ranges between 40 to 300km.

Israel continuously improves the technology behind the country’s anti-missile systems, and the last upgrade to the Iron Dome was in 2017 in order to expand and improve the performance capabilities of the system in the face of an unprecedented range of threats.

Since its first deployment, it has intercepted over 85 percent of projectiles fired towards Israeli civilian centers, changing the face of battle between Israel and her enemies.


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