Israel completes flight tests of upgraded Iron Dome air defense missile system

According to a Tweet published by the Israeli Ministry of Defense (MoD) on February 1, 2021, the Israel Missile Defense Organization in the MOD and Rafael have completed a successful series of flight tests of a new and upgraded version of the Iron Dome, Israeli-made dual mission counter rocket, artillery and mortar (C-RAM) and Very Short Range Air Defense (VSHORAD) system.
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Flight test of new upgraded Iron Dome air defense missile system. (Picture source Israeli MoD)

The Israeli Ministry of Defense announced that the tests had occurred on Jan. 12, 2021. The Directorate of Defense Research and Development and the Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) conducted the testing program in cooperation with Iron Dome's manufacturer, Rafael. The Israel Defense Forces first declared that the defense system, which it had developed with significant assistance from the United States, was operational in March 2011.

Iron Dome is a missile air defense system, designed by the Israeli company Rafael, to counter rocket, artillery and mortar (C-RAM) and Very Short Range Air Defense (VSHORAD) system. The system has been responsible for shooting down over 400 rockets aimed at Israel's population centers and has a success rate of approximately 90%. The Iron Dome is in service with the Israeli army and was recently acquired by the U.S. army.

The Iron Dome system is designed to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells fired from distances of 4 kilometers (2.5 mi) to 70 kilometers (43 mi) away and whose trajectory would take them to an Israeli populated area.

The Iron Dome consists of three main components including the missile firing unit consisting of 20 container launchers able to fire the Tamir interceptor missile, the Battle Management & Weapon Control and the land the detection & tracking radar.

According to the Israeli MoD, the new upgraded Iron Dome will be able to engage "evolving threats in the region," which include terrorists armed with ever-improving rocket and missile capabilities, the growing danger posed by small unmanned aircraft, and more.

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