Israel, with help from the US, is planning to deploy four additional short-range anti-rocket missile batteries for the country’s Iron Dome missile defence system, according to Defence Minister Ehud Barak.

“With the financial help of the Americans, we hope to equip ourselves with four new ‘Iron Dome’ batteries so we will have six in operation in the next two years,” he said.

The system, developed by Israel’s Rafael with US funding, is still at the experimental stage and is designed to intercept rockets and artillery shells fired from a range of 4-70km.

Each battery consists of detection and tracking radar, state-of-the-art fire control software and three launchers, each with 20 interceptor missiles, according to Agence France Presse.

Israel had recently deployed the first battery outside the southern city of Beersheva and the second is set to come into operation on the Israeli border with the Gaza Strip soon.