Request made to Congress for the purchase of 2 systems at a reported $373 million; System would be delivered in 2020.
The United States Army has reportedly requested approval from the US Congress to purchase two Iron Dome systems from Israel.
A request to purchase the rocket and missile defense system from Israel’s defense and technology company, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, at $373 million was recently made. If the purchase is approved, the system would be delivered to the United States next year in 2020.
Members of Congress previously sent a request to review acquiring the Iron Dome to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense in April last year. In a letter submitted, US-Israel relations and cooperation, as well as benefits to both Israel and the United States security were cited. Congress members also cited “increasingly militarized Russia, North Korea, and other adversaries heightening our immediate need for advanced missile defense” in the inquiry.
The Iron Dome is a short-range air defense system created by Rafael and programmed by mPrest Systems. In 2007, following the Second Lebanon War when over 4,000 rockets were fired at Israel, Israel’s Ministry of Defense selected Rafael to develop the short-range missile defense system. The Iron Dome was fully functional and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) began using the system in 2011.
The Iron Dome uses an algorithm and radar systems to identify and locate rockets from their launch sites and monitors the projectile’s path. The system evaluates the threat level and location of projected impact. In the event the projectile would hit a populated or residential area, or pose any danger, the Iron Dome launches one of 20 Tamir interceptor missiles from its launchpad and shoots down incoming projectiles and threats in the sky.
The mobile defense system is deployed by truck and operational within a few hours. The system is constantly moved around to avoid detection from the Gaza Strip and when deployed, Lebanon and Syria.
The Iron Dome has a reported 90% success rate and has downed thousands of rockets and missiles fired at Israel.