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By Arie Egozi
The combat-proven Iron Dome rocket interceptor will soon be tested in the U.S.
The U.S army has recognized an urgent need for such a defense systems and the Israeli system is on the top of the list.
The test is part of a U.S army demonstration aimed at selecting an interim solution for a medium- and short-range air defense system. Experts say that if selected, this will serve as the U.S army’s solution for many years.
The U.S. Army began the evaluation recently at the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.
The aim is to allow the U.S generals to evaluate existing systems that are ready for quick deployment.
The U.S army has identified an urgent need for such a systems when more and more potential enemies of the U.S are acquiring more and more rockets.
According to Defense News, the U.S. Army would not discuss which vendors came with what solutions but noted the service will analyze the offerings through acquisition and tracking tests and a live fire against unmanned aircraft systems and ground targets.
The Iron Dome developed by Rafael will be evaluated in parallel with three other systems.
The Rafael Iron Dome rocket interceptor has been proved during the fighting in Gaza and since then – was proven to be effective against all types of unmanned air vehicles (UAV).
Iron dome is the world’s premier Counter Rockets, Artillery, and Mortar (C-RAM) system, and has more than 1,500 combat intercepts. While the capability of Iron Dome to intercept UAVs has always been touted, it had never been seen.
A video released by Rafael shows Iron Dome interceptions of both low and high-flying UAV’s, in both look-up and look-down scenarios. Photos of the UAV debris show that the target was completely destroyed by the interceptor’s large warhead. Rafael emphasized that the system requires no modification to perform the Counter-UAS (C-UAS) mission, and it retains its proven C-RAM performance.
According to Rafael, the interceptor has capabilities far and beyond those that have been demonstrated in combat. It has unparalleled maneuverability and a warhead that is 2 to 3 times larger than anything else out there. “Iron Dome can take out armed UAV’s before they are close enough to release their munitions, and most medium-altitude reconnaissance UAV’s before they are close enough to their target to perform their mission,” a Rafael source said.
In recent years, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) intercepted UAV’s that crossed the border from Lebanon and Gaza into Israel. Some were shot down by air-air missiles and others by Patriot missiles.