Soldiers stand next to an Iron Dome battery..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Defense Ministry on Thursday announced that after running a series of experimental tests on Israel's life saving air-defense missile system, Iron Dome, it has succeeded in upgrading its operational capabilities in order to confront future hostilities.
In conjunction with its main contractor, state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., the new upgrades were designed "to expand and improve the performance capabilities of the system in the face of an unprecedented range of threats," a press statement from the Defense Ministry read.
The Iron Dome was originally designed to defend against rockets at a range of 4-70 km,
but the IDF has continually improved Iron Dome's capability since its deployment in 2011.
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.
Air force personnel staffing Iron Dome batteries intercepted more than 500 Gazan rockets heading to Israeli built-up areas during the war with Hamas in Gaza last year in Operation Protective Edge, successfully protecting Israel's most populated and vulnerable cities. Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.
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