Iron Dome short-range air defense system could be deployed with US Army in 2021
According to news published by the US Army website on May 29, 2020, the US Army plans to test the Israeli-made Iron Dome short-range air defense missile system. Two batteries of Iron Dome will be sent at Fort Bliss, Texas, to perform firing tests and could be deployed by at the end of 2021.
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Iron Dome mobile launcher unit (Picture source Army Recognition)
The U.S. Army plans to begin phased testing of the Iron Dome systems, as the missiles, launchers and radar go from the assembly line in Israel to White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico to undergo an equipment fielding and training program, said Brig. Gen. Brian Gibson, Air and Missile Defense Cross-Functional Team director. The batteries are scheduled to arrive in December 2020 and February 2021.
In August 2019, the United States and the Israel Missile Defense Organization have signed a contract for the purchase of two batteries of Iron Dome. The batteries will be deployed to protect US armed forces in hostile areas of operation. The order also includes two command posts and radars, 12 launchers, and 480 missiles.
At AUSA 2017, the Association of United States Army exhibition and conference in Washington D.C., the American Company Raytheon presents the SkyHunter, a US-certified version of the Iron Dome developed jointly by the Israeli Company Rafael and Raytheon. The SkyHunter is a mobile all-weather air defense system designed to destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells fired from distances of 4 to 70 kilometers.
The Israeli-made Iron Dome was developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries to provide a new air defense system able to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells.
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 system operates in all weather conditions, including low clouds, rain, dust storms, or fog.
Since becoming operational by the Israeli Air Force in April 2011, Iron Dome has successfully intercepted hundreds of rockets that have been fired from the Gaza Strip at Southern and Central Israel. Iron Dome system has achieved a very high rate of successful interceptions. In doing so, the system saved lives and prevented serious damages to property.