The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) will deploy two additional Iron Dome batteries in the next few weeks, Israel Defence Minister Ehud Barak has said.

“I ordered a national emergency plan that will acquire us nine batteries till 2013 and a first David’s Sling system – the next step of the Iron Dome,” he added.

The Iron Dome batteries consist of a mobile air defence system with a radar-guided interceptor missile launched from a truck-sized firing platform.

The radar-guided interceptor missile is designed to destroy mid-air rockets and mortar bombs that have ranges of 5km to 70km.

Israel already has two operational batteries deployed outside the southern city of Beersheva, which have successfully intercepted rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.