The Defense Ministry is holding a series of tests of an upgraded version of the
Iron Dome rocket defense system, together with manufacturer Rafael Advanced
The upgrades are designed to give the Iron Dome
“improved capabilities against an unprecedented range of threats,” the Defense
Ministry said on Monday. “The test, which was completed successfully, will lead
to an upgrade in Iron Dome’s operational capabilities.”
One improved Iron
Dome battery, which is capable of intercepting projectiles with a longer range,
was deployed in the midst of Operation Pillar of Defense in November to defend
the greater Tel Aviv area. It shot down several mediumrange Iranian-made Fajr 5
rockets fired by terrorists from Gaza at central Israel.
The Air Force
deployed five Iron Dome batteries during the Gaza conflict, which succeeded in
intercepting more than 90 percent of Palestinian rockets heading towards city
Typically, two interceptors are fired at every incoming threat,
though if one interceptor carries out the task successfully, the second is sent
to an open area to self destruct.
Last year, Israel and the US carried
out tests on the David’s Sling defense system, designed to stop medium- range
rockets and cruise missiles, bringing the country a step closer to having an
active defense shield against Hezbollah’s arsenal of projectiles.
test, a David’s Sling battery stationed in the South fired a two-stage
interceptor missile and stopped an incoming missile.
The system is
designed to fill the gap between Iron Dome’s short-range protection and the
Arrow 2 longrange ballistic missile defense program.
estimate that David’s Sling will become operational in 2014. The Arrow 3 system,
which is still in development, will be able to intercept ballistic missiles in
space after it becomes operational.