The Israeli Defence Force (IDF) has decided to delay the deployment of the Iron Dome anti-rocket defence system, according to senior military sources.

The defence system will be stored in the centre of the country and will be deployed only in cases of extreme rocket fire from Gaza or south Lebanon, according to the Jerusalem Post.

The delay is due to the intricate process of training IDF officers and soldiers to use the complicated weapons system.

Iron Dome has been designed to counter incoming rockets at a range of 4km-70km with each battery consisting of a multimission radar and three launchers, each with 20 interceptors.

The system had successfully intercepted a number of 122mm Grad-type Katyusha rockets in a series of tests held in July.

The IDF has plans to postpone the initial operational capability until the first quarter of 2011.