IDF working to upgrade range of Iron Dome system (JERUSALEM POST) By YAAKOV KATZ 05/25/12)
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The IDF is working to increase the range of the Iron Dome counter
rocket defense system, with the aim of enabling it to intercept
longer-range rockets, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
To achieve the improved performance, the IDF is focusing on two
tracks – technological upgrades to the system as well as
modifications to the Israel Air Force’s operational doctrine.
The Iron Dome was originally designed to defend against rockets at a
range of 4-70 km.
Each battery consists of a mini multi-mission radar manufactured by
Israel Aerospace Industries and three launchers, each equipped with
20 interceptors called Tamirs.
The radar enables Iron Dome operators to predict the impact site of
the enemy rocket and decide not to intercept it if it is slated to
hit an open area. Each interceptor costs between $50,000-100,000 and
usually two are fired at rockets slated for interception.
“This is significant since it would allow us to intercept more
rockets with less batteries,” a senior defense official explained.
The system recently underwent a series of tests in conjunction with
manufacturer Rafael to determine its ability to intercept longer-
The IDF currently operates four Iron Dome batteries and plans to
deploy an additional two within the coming year. Last week, the
United States announced that it will provide Israel with $70 million
in immediate aid for the purchase of additional Iron Dome batteries.
Since its deployment last year, Iron Dome batteries have intercepted
over 90 Katyusha and Kassam rockets fired into Israel from the Gaza
Strip. The new aid package comes after the Obama administration gave
Israel $205 million in 2011 and comes on top of the $3 billion Israel
receives in annual foreign aid from the United States. (© 1995-2011,
The Jerusalem Post 05/25/12)
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