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A new air defense system, made by the major Israeli defense contractor Rafael, was unveiled recently in Britain, and will be deployed by the 16 Regiment of the Royal Artillery.

We have wrote about the procurement procedure in i-HLS.com last November, and now it was unveiled to the public. The system is essentially a slightly different type of the Iron-Dome missile defense system.

According to ukdefensejournal.org.uk, Sky Sabre is due in service in 2020 and will prove to be a step change in the UK’s air defenses, taking it from short to medium range capability.

Speaking at the unveiling Air Commodore Ian Gale MBE Senior Responsible Officer for the introduction of the system said:

“You are seeing the future here today, you can’t replace like for like in the digital age. This will take the Army from short to medium range, It is a truly integrated air defense system that will be operated both by the Army and the Royal Air Force. It has significant benefits; it’s fast, reliable and trusted.”

According to the accompanying press release, this was the first time that the three principal components of the system had come together: the MBDA launcher that fires the CAMM missile, the Saab radar targeting system, aptly named the giraffe because of its extending neck and the command and the Rafael control electronics suite from which the system is operated.

A host of deals were agreed around the turn of the year but are only now becoming public. This includes award of a contract by the British to the Israeli company to supply a key battlefield command-and-control network for the Sky Sabre system. The main contract award, which the MoD valued at £78 million, was signed in January with Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, to develop a battle management, command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (BMC4I) network.

Missile builder MBDA and surveillance radar supplier Saab have also been awarded contracts to integrate other, already ordered, ground-based air-defense system elements into the BMC4I. Rafael, with help from UK partners Babcock, will supply its Modular, Integrated C4I Air & Missile Defense System and associated equipment in a development and manufacture phase likely to be completed around 2020.