Iron Dome rocket launcher 248.88 courtes.
(photo credit: Rafael.co.il )
The Iron Dome missile defense system successfully intercepted a number of rockets that mimicked Kassam and short-range Grad-model Katyusha rockets in a series of tests the Defense Ministry conducted this week.
Iron Dome, under development by Rafael Defense Systems, is slated to become operational sometime in 2010 and to be capable of intercepting short-range Kassam and Katyusha rockets fired by Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Hizbullah in southern Lebanon.
The Iron Dome uses an advanced radar that locates and tracks the rocket, which is then intercepted by a kinetic missile interceptor.
"A multilevel defense system is a strategic goal for the State of Israel and will provide a layer of protection against short-range rockets," Defense Minister Ehud Barak said. "This will allow the IDF to fulfill its obligation to protect Israel in the best way that it can."
The IDF has already established a new battalion that will be part of the IAF's Air Defense Division and will operate Iron Dome. Prototypes of the Iron Dome will likely be supplied to the new battalion in the coming months. The battalion will then commence training with the system as well as formulating a doctrine for its operation.
The IDF has also located positions along the Gaza border that will be used as bases for the system, which includes a launcher and radar installation.
After it completes the deployment of the system along the Gaza border, the IDF will begin deploying the system along the northern border with Lebanon.