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Old 05-10-2019, 09:40 AM
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Cool Us marine corps eyeing israel's iron dome system

By: BY ANNA AHRONHEIM - The Jerusalem Post - MAY 10, 2019 17:48

Announcement comes after the system intercepted 240 out of 690 rockets launched from Gaza towards Israel over the weekend.

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ron Dome testing . (photo credit: MINISTRY OF DEFENSE SPOKESPERSON'S OFFICE)

Less than six months after the US Army purchased Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, the US Marine Corps is now looking for follow suit.

According to a report in the Marine Corps Times the Corps is looking to purchase the system, known as SkyHunter in the United States, due to the “advancing military capabilities from Russia and China as well as the proliferation of drone technology among small terror groups.”

The report which referenced briefing slides prepared for the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that the USMC has sought limited funding for 2019 to begin testing and integrating the system with the Corp’s Ground/Air Task-Oriented Radar (G/ATOR) and mount the launchers and Tamir rockets on the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle and Oshkosh’s Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement truck.

Since its first deployment in April 2011 outside the southern city of Beersheba, the Iron Dome has intercepted roughly 85% of projectiles fired towards Israeli civilian centers, changing the face of battle between Israel and her enemies.

In the last round of fighting between Israel and groups in the Gaza Strip saw 690 rockets fired towards Israel in the span of less than 48 hours. While the large majority landed in open territory and caused no injuries, the batteries were able to intercept 240 of the rockets headed towards residential areas.

The system is built by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, Israel Aerospace Industries and Raytheon, which manufactures the American-made Patriot missile system.The radars are from ELTA System a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries.

It carries 10 kg. of explosives and can intercept an incoming projectile from four to 70 km. away. It is able to calculate when rockets will land in open areas, choosing not to intercept them, or towards civilian centers.

Used in several military operations against Hamas, it successfully intercepted a long-range missile launched by Iranian troops from Syria towards Israel’s northern Golan Heights Hermon mountain resort.

In prior operations in Gaza the Iron Dome struggled to intercept short-range mortar shells fired towards Israel, but Israel has been upgrading it’s multi-layered aerial defense system and with new upgrades and other improvements, the Iron Dome has been able to intercept short-range missiles and mortars unlike ever before.

While the United States has its THAAD anti-ballistic missile defense system designed to intercept and destroy short, medium, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles in their terminal phase, the American military does not have any short-range air defense solutions.

Last year reports surfaced that the US Army saw an urgent need for an interim solution to fill the gap in its defenses, especially in the European arena, until a permanent solution to the problem is put in place to best protect ground maneuvering troops against an increasingly wide range of aerial threats, including short-range projectiles.

In February the Israeli Ministry of Defense and the US Department of Defense agreed to a deal which saw the purchase of two Iron Dome batteries to fill its short-term needs for an Indirect Fire Protection Capability.

“The Iron Dome system will be used for deployed US military forces as a defense system against a wide range of ballistic and airborne threats, and will be tested in the long run as part of a range of possible US military responses to aerial threats,” read a statement by the Israel’s Ministry of Defense.

The US Army had asked Congress for $373 million to buy two batteries off-the-shelf from Rafael which included 12 launchers, two sensors, two battlement management centers and 240 interceptors. Washington wanted to have them delivered by 2020.

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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