“I am proud that this advanced system will also protect U.S. Army troops,” said Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz.
By Ebin Sandler, World Israel News
On Wednesday, Israel’s Ministry of Defense delivered the first of two Iron Dome Defense System batteries to the U.S. Army. To mark the occasion, the ministry hosted an event at defense contractor Rafael Advanced Systems’ Iron Dome production line.
At the event, Defense Minister Benny Gantz commented, “The Iron Dome system, as a part of [Israel’s] multi-layered missile defense system, reflects the strength of the Israeli defense establishment. … Many deaths were prevented on the home front of southern Israel [using the Iron Dome], and it has a significant impact on the battlefield.”
Gantz continued, “I am proud that this advanced system will also protect U.S. Army troops. This is an extraordinary achievement for both the Ministry of Defense and for Israel’s excellent defense industries.”
The event was also attended by Minister of the Economy Amir Peretz, head of the Directorate of Defense R&D Dr. Dani Gold, head of the Israel Missile Defense Organization Moshe Patel Rafael Chairman, and Rafael CEO Yoav Har-Even.
“Last week I visited the United States and met with senior officials in the U.S. Department of Defense and the military,” Gantz added. “Among other things, we discussed procurement and information sharing in the field of technology. The completion of this agreement serves as further proof that the defense alliance [between the U.S. and Israel] is based on common values and interests, which are stronger than ever.”
Israel delivered the anti-missile system to begin fulfilling an agreement signed in August 2019 for two Iron Dome Defense System batteries (IDDS-A). The second battery is set to be delivered in the near future and both will be deployed to defend U.S. troops against ballistic and aerial threats.
In its 10 years of operation, Israel’s Iron Dome has completed over 2,400 interceptions, saving thousands of lives from rockets launched by Palestinian terror factions in Gaza, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Pini Yungman, head of Rafael’s Air and Missile Defense Division, noted that the Iron Dome system delivered to the U.S. military is “tailored to American requirements” and had been assessed in the White Sands testing field in the U.S.
“To date, we have conducted three demonstrations and intercepted targets chosen by the U.S. Army,” Yungman added.
The Iron Dome remains a key component of Israel’s aerial defense array, which also includes the David’s Sling, Arrow-2 and Arrow-3 weapon systems.