Iron Dome 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The IDF is working to increase the range of the Iron Dome counter rocket defense
system, with the aim of enabling it to intercept longer-range rockets, The
Jerusalem Post has learned.
To achieve the improved performance, the IDF
is focusing on two tracks – technological upgrades to the system as well as
modifications to the Israel Air Force’s operational doctrine.
Dome was originally designed to defend against rockets at a range of 4-70
Each battery consists of a mini multi-mission radar manufactured by
Israel Aerospace Industries and three launchers, each equipped with 20
interceptors called Tamirs.
The radar enables Iron Dome operators to
predict the impact site of the enemy rocket and decide not to intercept it if it
is slated to hit an open area. Each interceptor costs between $50,000-100,000
and usually two are fired at rockets slated for interception.
significant since it would allow us to intercept more rockets with less
batteries,” a senior defense official explained.
The system recently
underwent a series of tests in conjunction with manufacturer Rafael to determine
its ability to intercept longer-range rockets.
The IDF currently operates
four Iron Dome batteries and plans to deploy an additional two within the coming
year. Last week, the United States announced that it will provide Israel with
$70 million in immediate aid for the purchase of additional Iron Dome
Since its deployment last year, Iron Dome batteries have
intercepted over 90 Katyusha and Kassam rockets fired into Israel from the Gaza
Strip. The new aid package comes after the Obama administration gave Israel $205
million in 2011 and comes on top of the $3 billion Israel receives in annual
foreign aid from the United States.