News ID: 237496
Published: 0431 GMT January 17, 2019

US Army to acquire Israeli Iron Dome missile systems

US Army to acquire Israeli Iron Dome missile systems

The US Army is in the process of acquiring two batteries of the Israeli-made Iron Dome missile system, a new report suggests.

The army would use the missile systems to protect US ground forces overseas against unmanned air vehicles, mortars, rockets, artillery and cruise missiles, Inside Defense reported Wednesday.

The batteries will include 12 launchers, two sensors, two command centers and 240 interceptor missiles, the report said, Presstv Reported.

The Pentagon is said to be rushing the deal due to its “urgency” and plans to acquire the system’s Israeli-made radar as well because adjusting the system to American radars means its deployment would face delays.

 The US military has already tested the system. In September 2017, Israel loaned the US an Iron Dome battery, which was flown to the missile range in White Sands, New Mexico.

The report suggested that Iron Dome was also significantly cheaper than similar American missile systems.

For example, a system based on the AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles cost the Pentagon around $12 million for each launcher and $800,000 for each interceptor missile while the Iron Dome would only cost $1.37 million for each launcher and$150,000 for each interceptor missile.

The US Army has been working with Israeli weapons maker Rafael to develop an American version of the interceptor system since 2017.
In order to integrate the missile system, the US military was going to invest $289.7 million in the missile system in the current fiscal year and another $83.8 million for the next fiscal year, Israeli media reported, citing US congressional documents.

In total, the US Army would spend $1.6 billion for Iron Dome's full integration until 2024, the report added.

How effective is the system?

The Iron Dome was originally developed to counter small rockets that Hamas and other Palestinian resistance groups fired into Israeli occupied territories in retaliation for the regime's crimes against Palestinians.

The system has proven largely ineffective in serving that purpose, an issue that became clear during the latest Israeli aggression against Gaza Strip.

The military confrontation lasted only a day after Hamas fired hundreds of domestically built missiles into Israel. Iron Dome’s failure to intercept much of the missiles forced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to call for truce, a move that prompted his war minister, Avigdor Lieberman, to resign.

Saudi Arabia is also said to have purchased the missile system from Tel Aviv following US-mediated secret meetings in Washington.

 

 

   
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