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Pentagon Considering Adapting Iron Dome to Defend U.S. Forces

Iron Dome’s Tamir interceptor being fired (Photo Rafael spokesperson)

Iron Dome’s Tamir interceptor being fired (Photo Rafael spokesperson)Iron Dome, the mobile, all-weather, short range, anti high trajectory rocket defense system, developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aircraft Industries, is being considered by the U.S. Army to transform the combat-proven Israeli interceptor into a system for the defense of forward-deployed US forces, Defense News reported Tuesday.

The Tamir interceptor, which is a keg part of the system, is designed to destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells. Many of its component systems have been made by Israel’s American defense partner Raytheon, which has now created its own version of the Iron Dome called SkyHunter.

Defense News reported that Skyhunter is one of three systems being evaluated by the U.S. Army to defend against “a spectrum of threats, from cruise missiles and UAVs to rockets, artillery and mortars.” If selected, the Tamir would be totally constructed by Raytheon and redesigned to meet American standards.

The system was employed during operation “Protective Edge”, intercepting rockets launched from Gaza towards southern, central and northern parts of Israel.

During 50 days of military activity 4, 594 rockets and mortars were fired at Israeli targets. A total of Nine systems had been deployed on service, achieving an intercept success rate of 90 percent.

Iron Dome is considered a favorite to win the contract because it is low-cost and has a proven track record. The Tamir interceptor was also successfully tested in the United States in April.

Raytheon describes SkyHunter as “a ground-based missile interceptor system consisting of a guided missile with electro-optic sensors and adjustable steering fins for tracking and destroying incoming enemy rockets, missiles, artillery and mortars.”

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