US marines finish last Iron Dome test before adoption decision

The experiment included a series of three test carried out over the course of a year. The system successfully intercepted a variety of targets. 

View of Iron Dome Missile Defense battery deployed near the southern Israeli city of Ashdod, August 5, 2022.  (photo credit: TOMER NEUBERG/FLASH90)
View of Iron Dome Missile Defense battery deployed near the southern Israeli city of Ashdod, August 5, 2022.
(photo credit: TOMER NEUBERG/FLASH90)

The United States Marine Corps has recently completed a series of interception tests on an air defense system using Israel's Tamir Interceptor as they consider adopting the Israeli military tech, according to Israel's Ministry of Defense. 

"The three tests that took place this year proved that the performance of the MRIC system [along] with Iron Dome interceptors is good and provides a dedicated launcher solution for the Marines."

 Don Kelly, project manager in the Air Defense Department (GBAD) of the Marine Corps' Land Directorate

This plan had been forthcoming for a long time. Assistant commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Eric Smith was quoted in July as saying: "I would note that we held onto funding for that for almost two years until you could prove it, and now [that] it’s proven, we will start procuring.” 

Smith also said then that the Iron Dome Interceptor “is the thing that was most needed to complete the toolkit that our commanders in the Marines Littoral Regiment will need to be most effective on the future battlefield, and I’m excited about it.”

The experiment included a series of three tests carried out over the course of several months. The system successfully intercepted a variety of targets. 

 IRON DOME missile takes off near Ashkelon, as rockets are launched in the background from the Gaza Strip toward Israel (credit: JACK GUEZ/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES) IRON DOME missile takes off near Ashkelon, as rockets are launched in the background from the Gaza Strip toward Israel (credit: JACK GUEZ/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES)

The tests took place at the White Sands test field in New Mexico, USA. They are part of a program led by the marines to test a new prototype system for Medium Range Intercept Capability (MRIC). 

Good test results

"The three tests that took place this year proved that the performance of the MRIC system [along] with Iron Dome interceptors is good and provides a dedicated launcher solution for the Marines," said Don Kelly, project manager in the Air Defense Department (GBAD) of the Marine Corps' Land Directorate at the end of the test.

The Tamir Interceptor is capable of intercepting cruise missiles, drones and a variety of rockets, shells, and guided mortars. 

Head of the Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) in the Ministry of Defense, Mr. Moshe Patel: “This current test, which completes a series of three, is further proof that the Iron Dome Tamir Interceptor and associated ground components can be integrated quickly and efficiently in any relevant defense architecture and intercept various aerial threats successfully in complex and advanced scenarios. We welcome any cooperation in the field of defense with the branches of the US military."

The IMDO at the Israel Defense Forces leads the development of the multi-layered defense system of the State of Israel based on four operational defense layers: the 'Iron Dome' system, the 'Magic Wand' system and the 'Arrow 2' and 'Arrow 3' system.

The US Army also conducted tests of the Iron Dome Defense System in the summer of 2022. According to Jerusalem Post report, the tests were carried out by US Army soldiers assigned to the 3-43 Air Defense Artillery Battalion, who detected, tracked and intercepted multiple cruise missile and UAS targets.