The US Army has successfully conducted live firings tests of Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system in coordination with the Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) and the Israeli Ministry of Defense.
The United States is the first country where Israel’s Iron Dome has been installed.
In 2020, Raytheon Technologies and Israel’s Rafael entered into a joint venture to manufacture the Iron Dome through Raytheon Rafael Area Protection Systems.
The successful live firings mean that the US is beginning to deploy the Army’s Iron Dome Defense System (IDDS-A) batteries as part of its missile defenses. With it the US will be to counter potential subsonic cruise missiles as well as Group 2 and 3 unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), missiles, artillery, and mortar threats.
In the last decade in the Middle East, Israel’s Iron Dome has successfully intercepted several thousand shells in real war-like confrontations.
The US aims to safely integrate Iron Dome into the US military’s missile defense architecture, said Major General Brian Gibson, commander of the Army’s Air and Missile Defense Command.
Currently Israel is developing a version of Iron Dome based on laser technology, which will significantly bring down the operational cost of the system. Whereas earlier it was using missiles to destroy aerial threats, including drones and rockets, it will now use laser pulses to do the same.
Outside of the US, Morocco is also working to acquire the Israeli system, according to a report from Rue 20, a North African country’s newspaper. While it released the information in November 2021, there has yet to be any concrete decision from Tel Aviv.