- Sputnik International
Get the latest news from around the world, live coverage, off-beat stories, features and analysis.

Pentagon Wants Its Own Version of Israel’s Iron Dome for Battlefield

© Flickr / Israel Defense ForcesIron Dome system intercepts Gaza rockets aimed at central Israel
Iron Dome system intercepts Gaza rockets aimed at central Israel - Sputnik International
The Iron Dome air defense system has defended Israel against rocket attacks since 2011. Now the Pentagon wants its own version to defend forward-deployed troops.

Developed by Israel’s state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, the Iron Dome networks several missile batteries for short-range air defense. As of October of 2014, the system had successfully intercepted over 1,200 rockets.

This photograph provided by the Israeli Ministry of Defense on Monday Dec. 21, 2015 shows a launch of David's Sling missile defense system. David's Sling is intended to counter medium-range missiles possessed by enemies throughout the region, most notably the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah. - Sputnik International
US Diverts Missile Defense Funding to Boost Israeli Shield

With its proven reliability, the US Army is considering its own version of the Iron Dome interceptor missiles for the battlefield.

US-based defense contract Raytheon currently plays a significant role in producing components for Israel’s anti-missile interceptors. If Washington does, in fact, decide to use the missiles, Raytheon will produce the units under the brand SkyHunter.

"The minute that the US decides to procure Iron Dome, we will transfer all the knowledge and production file to Raytheon," said Yosi Druker, head of Rafael’s Air Superiority Systems Division, according to Defense News.

"Under our agreement, we will produce 40% to Raytheon’s 60%, but the capabilities will be 100% Raytheon."

An Israeli Air Force F-16 jet fighter in flight over Israel 1980. - Sputnik International
Israeli Air Force Fails to Intercept Drone Flying in From Syria

The Army would use the missiles to defend US soldiers on the ground against cruise missiles and UAVs.

Tests are already underway. The US Army began launching Tamir missiles from its Multi-Missile Launcher (MML), at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico in April, and while two other interceptors are under consideration, SkyHunter seems like a heavy favorite.

"It’s clear that according to price and capability and maturity of the system, Iron Dome has advantages," Druker said.

While Raytheon has not yet confirmed the potential arrangement, the company has registered the trademark rights for "SkyHunter," describing it as "a ground-based missile interceptor system consisting of a guided missile with electro-optic sensors and adjustable steering fins for tracking and destroying incoming enemy rockets, missiles, artillery and mortars."

An Arrow 3 ballistic missile interceptor is seen during its test launch near Ashdod December 10, 2015. - Sputnik International
Israel, US Test Arrow-3 Missile Interceptor for First Time - MDA

This isn’t the first proposed expansion of Israel’s missile defense system. In May, an Israeli Naval official confirmed successful tests of maritime-based interceptors.

"I can say all the threats shot toward our assets were targeted by the Adir radar – one of the most advanced naval radars that exists today – and interception was accomplished by Iron Dome," Col. Ariel Shir, head of combat systems development for the Israeli Navy, told reporters.

An "Iron Dome of the Sea" could one day defend Israel’s offshore energy assets.

To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала