Israel has delivered the first of two Iron Dome Defense System batteries to the US Army, more than a year after the purchase agreement was signed between the two countries.
The delivery was marked by a symbolic event at the Iron Dome production line of defence contractor Rafael Advanced Systems.
The Iron Dome is a mobile all-weather air defence system designed to protect populated areas and critical assets by intercepting shorter-range targets such as rockets, artillery and mortars.
In August last year, the US Army finalised a contract to acquire two Iron Dome missile defence system batteries to enhance its short-range missile defence capabilities.
The addition will help the US to fill the need for an interim capability as it does not possess short-range air defence solutions.
According to the Jerusalem Post, the purchase included 12 launchers, two sensors, two battlement management centres and 240 interceptors. The primary contractor is Rafael.
The second battery is expected to be delivered in the near future.
Commenting on the delivery of first Iron Dome battery, Israel Defense Minister Benjamin Gantz said: “The completion of this agreement serves as further proof that the defence alliance [between the US and Israel], is based on common values and interests, which are stronger than ever.”
The Iron Dome short-range air defence system is capable of neutralising targets at a range of up to 70km.
Rafael executive vice-president and air and missile defence division head Pini Yungman told the publication that a series of tests were conducted at the White Sands testing field. The system, delivered to the US, is tailored according to their requirements.