The U.S. Army took its first official step toward purchasing a new Iron Dome missile defense system, according to Defense News.
America’s military magazine, Defense News, quoting the deputy in charge of the service’s air and missile defense modernization efforts, has confirmed that the contract to purchase two Iron Dome batteries for the U.S. Army’s interim cruise missile defense capability has been finalized.
“Now that the contract is set in stone, the Army will be able to figure out delivery schedules and details in terms of taking receipt of the systems,” Daryl Youngman told Defense News at the Space and Missile Defense Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama, on Aug. 8.
The Iron Dome is the world’s most-used system, intercepting more than 1,900 incoming targets with a success rate exceeding 90 percent since being fielded in 2011.
Iron Domedetects, assesses and intercepts a variety of shorter-range targets such as rockets, artillery and mortars. It is effective day or night and in all weather conditions including low clouds, rain, dust storms and fog. It features a first-of-its-kind multi-mission launcher designed to fire a variety of interceptor missiles.
The system can protect deployed and maneuvering forces, as well as the Forward Operating Base (FOB) and urban areas, against a wide range of indirect and aerial threats.
Last month, a senior advisor to the director of the Air and Missile Defense Cross-Functional Team of Army Futures Command, Terry Young stated that the U.S. negotiated with Israel for a contract to purchase two batteries of the Iron Dome system.
“Right now, we’re thinking ‘Iron Dome’ offers the best solution for an initial capability for IFPC,” Young said. Iron Dome is an air defense system used by Israel effectively in over 1,900 combat engagements, he said. Further testing and experimentation with the Iron Dome System and its components will take place and help inform the Army’s enduring solution for IFPC, he said.
According to Army News Service, Young was part of a team that went to Israel earlier this year to get briefed and observe the Iron Dome and its capabilities in action. The team included the AMD CFT director, the Air Defense Artillery School commandant and elements from Program Executive Office Missiles and Space.