Today marks the 10th anniversary of the first operational intercept by Rafael’s Iron Dome air defence system. Since then, the system has been credited with a total of 2,500 combat intercepts.
The system’s first combat intercept came on 7 April 2011, less than a month after it was first deployed, being used to intercept a rocket targeting Ashkelon, a city in Israel.
Commenting on the anniversary, Rafael president and CEO, Major General (Ret.) Yoav Har-Even said: “Iron Dome is a household name in Israel and has become synonymous with excellence.
“We are proud of our teams of scientists and engineers who developed this extraordinary system and are continuing to do so on a daily basis. Thanks to them, Iron Dome’s capabilities are light years beyond its original design.”
Iron Dome is designed to intercept Very Short-Range Air Defence (VSHORAD) threats, artillery and mortar (C-RAM) fires, aircraft, helicopters, uncrewed aerial vehicles and cruise missiles.
Rafael has said that one Iron Dome battery alone can provide sufficient protection for a medium-sized city. The system is designed to allow an operator to prioritise targets headed towards populated areas and not threats that are set to land in open spaces maximising efficiency.
In 2019, the US Department of Defense (DoD) ordered two Iron Dome batteries for use with the US Army and last year Rafael announced the creation of a partnership with Raytheon to manufacture Iron Dome interceptors and launchers in the US.
Rafael also produces a naval version of Iron Dome, named C-Dome, which is designed to protect naval and land assets from ‘advanced ballistic, aerial and surface-to-surface threats’. The C-Dome system is currently in operational service with Israel’s Navy.