The ministerial procurements committee today approved the procurement of four more Iron Dome batteries, proposed by Minister of Defense Ehud Barak. The batteries will be deployed in 18-24 months, although one may be ready by the end of this year.
Barak said, "This is an important step toward deploying a multilayered network of interceptors based on the extraordinary achievements of Israel's defense industry. These are systems, which when fully deployed, will deeply affect weaponry and the home front's standing."
Last month, the Israel Air Force deployed the first Iron Dome battery to intercept kassam and Grad rockets fired against Israel from Gaza. The battery was deployed north of Beersheva, against which several Grads were fired in recent weeks. The Air Force worked for months to prepare the sites for the batteries and training their crews.
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. developed the Iron Dome, which identifies incoming rockets, calculates their trajectory, and launches a counter-missile against a rocket classified as a threat against a community or strategic facility, and destroys the rocket in flight.
A special Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, chaired by former defense minister MK Amir Perez (Labor) recommended the procurement of 13 Iron Dome batteries to protect southern Israel. Such a procurement would take years, because of the system's cost.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 13, 2011
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