The Israeli Navy carried out a successful C-Dome interception test from the Sa’ar 6 INS Oz, marking a “significant” milestone in enhancing the capabilities of the new Magen-class corvettes.
The interception test was carried out by the Israeli Navy, the Defense Ministry’s Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO), and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems as the primary contractor and developer, by the Israel Aerospace Industries’ Elta as the radar manufacturer, and by mPrest as the c2 manufacturer.
The test simulated real threats and included the system’s successful detection and interception of targets in challenging scenarios.
“The C-Dome system expertly identified threats and successfully intercepted them by launching Iron Dome interceptors toward them from the sea,” said IMDO head Moshe Patel.
What is Israel's new naval air defense system, the C-Dome?
The C-Dome is an advanced configuration of the Iron Dome aerial defense system and is operated from the four Sa’ar 6 Magen-class corvettes that have been received by the Navy in the last two years.
The Sa’ar 6 missile ships will guard strategic infrastructure such as the natural gas rigs, and protect the commercial shipping lanes which bring in 98% of Israel’s imports. The IDF has decided not to place Iron Dome batteries on oil rigs themselves for safety reasons – instead, the C-Dome has been placed on the Sa’ar 6.
According to the Defense Ministry, the operational system was created through the integration of multiple different systems, utilizing full operational capabilities that will be used by sailors.
“Operationalizing the system constitutes a significant milestone in enhancing the capabilities of the corvettes,” the statement said, adding that the C-Dome “constitutes a significant addition to the Israeli Navy’s defense capabilities in a wide array of missions, including the guarding of strategic assets, the Exclusive Economic Zone, and maintaining the regional maritime superiority of the State of Israel.”
Israel, which is highly dependent on maritime security, continuously improves the technology behind the country’s anti-missile systems in order to expand and improve the performance capabilities of the system in the face of an unprecedented range of threats.
According to Deputy Commander in Chief & Navy Chief of Staff, Rear Adm. Guy Goldfarb, the maritime arena has changed and has led the navy to have more responsibilities and extensive operational tasks.
“The Israeli Navy is at the height of the advanced operationalization of the Sa’ar 6 corvettes, currently taking place at record speed. The successful interception tests are a result of the C-Dome system’s implementation onboard the INS Oz corvette,” Goldfarb said.
“We recently acknowledged the initial operationalization of the INS Magen corvette, the first to join the Sa’ar 6 series and complete its first operational activity – the patrol of the State of Israel’s Exclusive Economic Zone and the protection of our economic and strategic assets,” he said.
The C-Dome is yet another layer of Israel’s multi-tiered missile and air defense array that has four operational defense layers: Iron Dome, David’s Sling, Arrow 2 and Arrow 3. Together, the systems provide Israel with a protective umbrella to counter threats posed by both short- and mid-range missiles used by Hezbollah and terror groups in Gaza, as well as the threat posed by more sophisticated long-range Iranian ballistic missiles.
“The operationalization of the C-Dome system is a significant milestone for the State of Israel’s naval defense capabilities,” said Defense Minister Benny Gantz. “Israel is continuing to build and strengthen its defense and attack capabilities – and will continue to keep its defensive edge in the area, protect its assets, its infrastructure, and first and foremost – the lives and safety of the citizens of Israel.”
"The operationalization of the C-Dome system is a significant milestone for the State of Israel's naval defense capabilities. Israel is continuing to build and strengthen its defense and attack capabilities – and will continue to keep its defensive edge in the area, protect its assets, its infrastructure, and first and foremost – the lives and safety of the citizens of Israel."Defense Minister Benny Gantz
According to Patel, the C-Dome allows for further operational flexibility.
“The C-Dome is the first operational naval defense solution of its kind and the test on the Sa’ar 6 corvette of the Israeli Navy serves as a monumental achievement in the development of the system,” said Dr. Ran Gozali, executive vice president and head of the Land and Naval Systems Directorate of Rafael.
The Iron Dome, Patel said, completed a “tremendously” successful series of tests this past year, both in Israel and in the United States, as part of the interception tests conducted by the Marine Corps and the US Army.