Defense Ministry completes trials of advanced version of the Iron Dome

10 years after the first interception test of the system, Defense Ministry boasts of over 2,400 successful interceptions

Iron Dome interception tests (Credit: Defense Ministry)
A decade since the first successful interception test of the Iron Dome system, Israel took a step closer to defending itself against heavy missile barrages with a series of complex, successful experiments for the advanced version of the missile defense system.
The complex series of experiments were carried out in the South by Rafael Advanced Systems and the Israel Missile Defense Organization in the Directorate of Defense Research and Development of the Defense Ministry.
The tests demonstrated the capabilities of an advanced version of the Iron Dome in a variety of simulated threats.
“The success of the experiments is an important milestone for Israel’s operational ability to defend itself against existing and future threats in the region,” the Defense Ministry said.
The test was conducted 10 years after the first test series of the Iron Dome, which was completed on January 6, 2010.
Moshe Patel, director of the Israel Missile Defense Organization, said throughout the last decade the organization conducted tens of interceptions as part of a framework of tests and more than 2,000 operational interceptions.
When it will be delivered, the air force will be equipped to confront evolving threats.
“The system tested most recently is an upgraded and improved version of the Iron Dome,” Patel said.
Brig.-Gen. (res.) Pini Yungman, Rafael executive vice president and head of its Air and Missile Defense Division, said the tests were completed with a 100% success rate.
“Following the test series, we can confidently say that the State of Israel is highly defended, more than ever before” he said.
The primary contractor for the development of the Iron Dome is Rafael. The MMR radar is developed by ELTA, a subsidiary of the Israel Aerospace Industries, and the command and control system is developed by mPrest.
After a lengthy development process – and with the financial help of the US – the Iron Dome went into service in April 2011, with its first battery placed near Beersheba. Just days later it made its first interception of a Grad rocket fired from the Gaza Strip. To date, the Iron Dome has successfully carried out more than 2,400 interceptions.
The Iron Dome has been used during two military operations in Gaza and during the last year and a half of violence along the Strip’s border, which has spilled over to several rounds of rocket fire. Rockets fired toward Israel from war-torn Syria have also been intercepted by the system.
The Rafael-built system carries 10 kg. of explosives and can intercept an incoming projectile from 4 km.-70 km. away and is able to calculate when rockets will land in open areas – choosing not to intercept them – or are fired toward civilian centers.
The Iron Dome, which is designed to shoot down short-range rockets, is an integral component of the country’s multi-layered defense array.
The Arrow (Arrow-2 and Arrow-3) system intercepts ballistic missiles outside of the atmosphere and the David’s Sling missile defense system is designed to intercept tactical ballistic missiles, medium- to long-range rockets, as well as cruise missiles fired at ranges between 40 km.-300 km.
Israel continuously improves the technology behind the country’s anti-missile systems, and the last upgrade to the Iron Dome was in 2017, which expanded its performance capabilities in face of an unprecedented range of threats.
Since its first deployment it has intercepted more than 85% of projectiles fired toward civilian centers, changing the face of battle between Israel and her enemies.