United States try to find more fund for Israeli Iron Dome anti-rockets system 2404131

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Defence & Security News - United States

 
 
Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 08:57 AM
 
United States try to find more fund for Israeli Iron Dome anti-rockets system.
The Pentagon has stepped up efforts to fund Israel's anti-missile shield with the Missile Defense Agency requesting $220 million in fiscal 2014 for Israel's air force to buy more Iron Dome batteries. It's the first time the MDA has specifically sought funds for Iron Dome, developed and built by Haifa's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, in its annual budget process.
     
The Pentagon has stepped up efforts to fund Israel's anti-missile shield with the Missile Defense Agency requesting $220 million in fiscal 2014 for Israel's air force to buy more Iron Dome batteries. It's the first time the MDA has specifically sought funds for Iron Dome, developed and built by Haifa's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, in its annual budget process.
Picture here is the Iron Dome battery in Ashkelon which intercepted approximately 8 rockets and Grad missiles launched from the Gaza Strip since its deployment on April 4th.
     

That underlines the U.S. Defense Department's effort to maintain military aid for Israel despite major cutbacks in defense spending.

The agency is also expected to seek another $520 million to fund other Israeli anti-missile systems, including the David's Sling and the high-altitude Arrow 3, which is under development.

"The money, if approved, would be on top of the $486 million the White House and Congress have requested or added for Iron Dome in recent years after formal budgets were submitted," The Jerusalem Post reported.

The House of Representatives and the Senate indicated in 2012 "they wanted to approve spending as much as $680 million for Iron Dome through 2015."

Iron Dome, designed to shoot down short-range missiles and rockets and recently upgraded to counter longer-range weapons as well, became operational in early 2012. But the Israeli air force, which has responsibility for air defense, has only acquired five batteries, several of those with direct U.S. funding on top of the annual $3.1 billion in U.S. military aid Israel receives.

That allowed Israel to deploy all five batteries during an eight-day November clash with Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.

By official count, Iron Dome successfully intercepted 84.6 percent of the rockets it engaged, including several that for the first time targeted Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Iron Dome's Tamir interceptors engage only those projectiles its computer calculates will hit populated areas and ignores the rest.

Several missile scientists and others have questioned the system's kill rate, with one saying it was closer to 5-10 percent of rockets engaged than the government's assessment of 84.6 percent.

 

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