Israel's Ministry of Defense Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure (DDR&D) today delivered the first Iron Dome battery to the US Army. The short-range missile defense system was developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd..
Under the terms of an agreement signed between Israel's Ministry of Defense and the US Defense Department in August 2019, Israel will deliver two Iron Dome batteries to the US Army in a deal worth $300 million. The second battery will be delivered in the coming weeks, according to Israel's Ministry of Defense. These are the first Iron Dome batteries that Rafael has sold to a foreign country.
The US Army is expected to deploy the Iron Dome batteries to defend US forces from ballistic and aerial threats.
Iron Dome has been used by the IDF since 2011 during which time it has intercepted more than 2,400 incoming missiles with a very high success rate.
Rafael develops and manufactures the system together with Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) (TASE: ARSP.B1) unit Elta Systems, which produces the MMR radar system. Petah Tikva based mPrest provides Iron Dome's command and control system. Other components, which are produced in the US were flown to Israel. As part of the US aid Israel receives for the development of Iron Dome, Israel is committed to produce components in the US to provide American jobs.
In August, Rafael announced it had set up a joint venture with Raytheon to manufacture and market both Iron Dome, which consists of the Tamir interceptor and launcher, and the SkyHunter missile, a US version 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. Under the agreement, the joint venture will provide service support, integration and logistics for the two Iron Dome batteries currently being supplied to the US Army.
At the delivery ceremony today at Rafael's plant Minister of Defense Benny Gantz said, "The Iron Dome system, as part of the multi-layer defense system against missile is another demonstration of the power of Israel's defense capabilities. Due to Israel's defense effectiveness many deaths of Israeli civilians are avoided in the south of the country. The Americans are equipping themselves. A year ago they procured Trophy anti-tank missile protection systems and in addition we are continuing to jointly develop the Arrow (long range missile interception system) and David's Sling (medium range missile interception system).
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on September 30, 2020
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