US set to purchase Israel's Iron Dome missile system

US set to purchase Israel's Iron Dome missile system
The US is looking to buy Israel's Iron Dome defence system.
2 min read
16 January, 2019
Iron Dome has been used extensively in southern Israel [AFP]
The US could purchase Israel's Iron Dome defence system, to provide cover for American troops from rocket fire in war zones across the world.

The US military has asked Congress to approve the $373 million purchase of two Iron Dome batteries, two launchers, two radar systems, two battle management systems and 240 interception missiles, according to media.

Iron Dome batteries could be used by American troops - which rarely purchases non-US military equipment - as early as next years, with the possibility of fully adopting the system by 2023.

"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 Congress document from last year read, according to the Inside Defense website.

"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."

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems' Iron Dome, is a front-line missile defence which has been used extensively in southern Israel where rockets are regularly fired from Gaza.

The system's radar detects when rockets and mortars are launched, working out what type of projectile has been fired and other characteristics before destroying them mid-flight.

Israel claims it has shot down hundreds of projectiles from Gaza and the system has a 90 percent success rate, although this has been questioned by some security analysts.

It can be overwhelmed by multiple rocket fire, as has been seen in Gaza recently, leaving towns vulnerable to rocket fire, Israeli media have said.

The US provides Israel with $3.3 billion per year in military aid until at least 2028, including an annual $500,000 allowance for missile defence systems.

Congress also approved a $705 million missile defence budget for Israel last year.