Rafael and Raytheon sign agreement to produce Iron Dome missile systems in US
Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business, and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., an Israeli-based defense technology company, have signed a joint venture to establish an Iron DomeTM Air Defense Missile Weapon System production facility in the United States. The new partnership, called Raytheon RAFAEL Area Protection Systems, anticipates finalizing a site location before the end of the year.
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The Iron Dome is an air defense missile system specially designed to counter rockets, artillery & mortars ammunition. (Picture source Rafael)
"This will be the first Iron Dome all-up-round facility outside of Israel, and it will help the U.S. Department of Defense and allies across the globe obtain the system for defense of their service members and critical infrastructure," said Raytheon Missiles & Defense Systems' Sam Deneke, vice president of Land Warfare & Air Defense business execution.
The new facility will produce both the Iron Dome Weapon System, which consists of the Tamir interceptor and launcher and the SkyHunter® missile, a U.S. derivative of Tamir. Both Tamir and SkyHunter intercept incoming cruise missiles, unmanned aerial systems and short-range targets such as rockets, artillery, mortars and other aerial threats.
"We are excited about this new stage in our partnership with Raytheon and proud of our U.S. production," said Brig. Gen. (res.) Pini Yungman, executive vice president for Air and Missile Defense of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. "We have long partnered on U.S. production of Iron Dome and are pleased to increase manufacturing and bring SkyHunter to the U.S."
Raytheon Missiles & Defense and Rafael have teamed for over a decade on Iron Dome, the world's most-used system with more than 2,500 operational intercepts and a success rate exceeding 90 percent. To learn more about these critical missile defense programs, visit us here.
The Iron Dome is the only dual mission system in the world that provides an effective defense solution for countering rockets, artillery & mortars (C-RAM) as well as aircraft, helicopters, UAVs, PGMs. The system is an effective system for countering C-RAM threats with ranges of up to 70 km and for VSHORAD protection (up to 10 km).
The Iron Dome can handle multiple threats simultaneously and efficiently. The system enables effective and selective handling of critical threats aimed at the defended zone to reduce unnecessary launches. The system uses a unique interceptor with a special warhead that detonates any target in the air within seconds.
At AUSA 2017, the Association of United States Army exhibition and conference in Washington D.C., the American Company Raytheon has presented the SkyHunter, a US-certified version of the Iron Dome developed jointly by the Israeli Company Rafael and Raytheon. In May 2020, the U.S. Army has announced that the Iron Dome could be deployed by at the end of 2021.
Container launcher of Iron Dome air defense missile system designed by the Israeli Company Rafael.(Picture source Rafael)