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US army eyes $373 million purchase of Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system

Discussion in 'Air Warfare' started by DavidSling, Jan 16, 2019.

  1. DavidSling

    DavidSling SENIOR MEMBER

    Oct 25, 2013
    +5 / 4,754 / -6

    9:46:13 AM

    11:58:43 AM
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    [​IMG]Israel's Iron Dome air defence system intercepted three missiles which were fired from the Sinai Peninsula
    Only Iron Dome could meet US Army goal of implementing an interim missile defense capability by 2020

    The US army has asked Congress to approve $373 million to purchase two of Israel’s successful Iron Dome missile interception batteries, the American defense website Inside Defense reported Wednesday.

    If approved, the sale would mark the first time Israel has sold a complete weapons system to the US, which rarely purchases weapons from foreign countries both due to their technological superiority over most countries as well as for national security reasons.

    According to Inside Defense, the army is seeking to acquire the two Iron Dome batteries with 12 launchers, two radar systems, two battle management systems and 240 interception missiles by 2020 to provide US ground forces interim protection against unmanned air vehicles, mortars, rockets, artillery and cruise missiles in conflict zones around the world.

    The previously unreported decision was detailed to Congress in a 14-page document dated Oct. 26, 2018 by Army acquisition executive Bruce Jette, the report said.

    "Based on an analysis of cost, schedule and performance, the Army [has decided to]: field two interim IFPC batteries of Iron Dome in [fiscal year] 2020,” the Congressional document said, adding that it would concurrently explore the full adoption of the Israeli system by 2023.

    [​IMG]Israeli Iron Dome defence system, designed to intercept and destroy incoming short-range rockets and artillery shells, stands near the Syrian border in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights on May 9, 2018

    The Iron Dome, developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, is a short-range missile interceptor and the first layer of Israel’s three-tier missile defense array which also includes the medium-range David’s Sling interceptor and the longer-range Arrow missile defense system.

    The different tiers of Israel's missile defense array are intended to protect against a wide variety of threats, from rudimentary rockets and mortars to advanced ballistic missiles, aimed at Israel by various states and organizations: From Iran and Syria to Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic State.

    The United States has reportedly been seeking a system to protect US ground forces from such threats in various conflict zones for several years now, and in the past has attempted to develop interceptor systems of their own.

    Only Iron Dome, however, could meet the US Army's mandated goal of implementing an interim cruise missile defense capability by 2020, according to the report.

    [​IMG]The Israel Defense Force (IDF) fires an Iron Dome rocket from a ship-mounted battery
    Israel Defense Force Spokesman's Unit

    The US Army document submitted to Congress said that based on cost analysis and recent simulation results the Iron Dome system was the best option to fulfill immediate needs and requirements.

    “The Iron Dome system provides the best value to the Army based on its schedule, cost per kill, magazine depth, and capability against specified threats," the Congressional document said.

    In 2016, the US and Israel signed an unprecedented $38 billion in military aid deal which included $5 billion earmarked for the development of missile defense systems.

    The 10-year agreement signed under former president Barack Obama came into force this year, and will see Israel receive $3.3 billion per year in foreign military financing -- up from $3.1 billion -- and $500,000 in funding annually for missile defense until 2028.

    In addition to the $38 billion aid package, US Congress in March 2018 approved a record-setting $705 million budget for Israel's missile defense programs.