Historic deal: US agrees to purchase Israel’s Iron Dome

In its first-ever purchase of a complete weapons system from Israel, the U.S. inked a deal for the Iron Dome.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

The U.S. Army announced on Wednesday that it has agreed to purchase Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.

The agreement is historic, marking the first time Israel has sold a standalone weapons system to the U.S., which typically fields weapons that are superior to other countries.

“The Iron Dome will be assessed and experimented as a system that is currently available to protect deployed U.S. military service members against a wide variety of indirect fire threats and aerial threats,” U.S. Army Col. Patrick Seiber said in a statement.

“While Iron Dome has been in operational use by the Israeli Air Force since 2011 and proven effective in combat, it should be noted that the U.S. Army will assess a variety of options for its long-term IFPC solution,” the statement read. IFPC stands for Indirect Fire Protection Capability.

An Iron Dome Missile Defense battery set up near the southern Israeli town of Ashdod fires an intercepting missile, July 14, 2014. (Flash90/David Buimovitch)

“No decisions have been made regarding the fielding or experimentation of Iron Dome in specific theaters,” Seiber said.

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Israel’s ministry of defense in a statement on Wednesday said, “The Iron Dome system will be tested as a defense system for deployed U.S. military forces against a wide range of ballistic and airborne threats, and will be tested in the long term as part of a range of possible responses by the U.S. military to defense against air threats.”

Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Benjamin Netanyahu said: “A great achievement for Israel, this is yet another expression of the strengthening of our strong alliance with the U.S. and an expression of Israel’s rising status in the world. Israel has an Iron Dome and an iron fist. Our systems know how to deal with any threat, both in defense and in attack. I would not recommend our enemies to try us. ”

According to Inside Defense, the U.S. Army wants “two Iron Dome batteries to provide ground forces an interim capability by 2020 against unmanned air vehicles, mortars, rockets, artillery and cruise missiles.”