On February 1st, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) successfully tested a new “advanced” Iron Dome missile defense system.
אבן דרך נוספת בפיתוחי כיפת ברזל: מינהלת חומה במפא"ת וחברת רפאל השלימו בהצלחה סדרת ניסויי יירוט של כיפת ברזל, המהווה אבן דרך חשובה בפיתוח המערכת. הניסוי בוצע בבסיס במרכז הארץ והשתתפו בו לוחמי מערך ההגנה האווירית, מערך הניסויים של חיל האוויר וזרוע הים. pic.twitter.com/ZuvGe77bPb
— משרד הביטחון (@MoDIsrael) February 1, 2021
During the test, a number of scenarios were examined that simulate future threats that the system may face during a conflict on land and at sea.
“The more-advanced model of the Iron Dome is due to be installed on the Israeli Navy’s new Sa’ar-6 corvettes, which are tasked with guarding the natural gas platforms off Israel’s coast as well as its shipping lanes,” the Israeli Ministry of Defense said.
The ministry said the new, upgraded model of the system was due to be integrated into the Israeli Air Force shortly. Though Iron Dome batteries will be located on Israeli Navy ships, they will be operated by air force troops.
The development of the Iron Dome is led by the IMDO in the Ministry of Defense. The prime contractor for the development and production of the Iron Dome is Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.
The MMR radar is developed by ELTA, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), and the command-and-control system (BMC), is developed by mPrest. The Iron Dome is an integral part of Israel’s multi-layered defense array developed by the IMDO.
The Defense Ministry said the tests, which the Iron Dome passed, represented “an important milestone in developing the system.”
Defense Minister Benny Gantz hailed the successful tests, saying, “The defense establishment will continue to stand guard, around the clock and in every place.”
Back in December 2020, the Israeli Defense Ministry conducted an “unprecedentedly complex air defense exercise,” in which the Iron Dome was proven effective against not only the rockets, mortar shells and drones that it had already been used to intercept, but also cruise missiles.
In that exercise in December, the Defense Ministry also tested a new version of the medium-range David’s Sling air defense system, which is currently under development.
David’s Sling was pitted against ballistic missiles, which follow a fixed and predetermined trajectory, as well as the more-difficult-to-hit cruise missiles, which effectively function as small, fast, unmanned airplanes, capable of changing direction and thus better able to evade air defenses.
The lowest layer of Israel’s multi-tiered missile defense system is the Iron Dome.
The middle tier of the missile defense array is the David’s Sling system, which is designed to shoot down medium-range projectiles.
The farthest range are the Arrow, designed to intercept large ballistic missiles, and the American-made Patriot system, which is used to shoot down aircraft.
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